Negotiating a shared custody agreement can be difficult, but it may be only the beginning of the issues related to children of divorce. Once the shared custody agreement is in place, there can be disagreements and bumps in the road even if you and your ex genuinely try to make things easy on the children and do what is best for them. The Men’s Legal Center has developed a few tips and hints to help those who are struggling with shared custody issues related to education, one of the biggest factors in a child’s life.
- First, be sure that you and your ex agree beforehand on the terms of your children’s education. Do your children go to public or private school? Who will pay fees, school trip costs, and even the price of school lunches? All of these issues need to be settled in advance as part of your shared custody agreement.
- Be sure that you and your ex discuss the way you will handle school activities and sports. You may not know today what your child will want to do five years from now, so how will you and your ex deal with the question of a child who wants to go to a three-week summer camp or join the school drama club? As your children grow, these activities will likely become more time-consuming and more expensive, so it is important to at least establish a method of dealing with these questions in advance.
- Make a pact to get homework done. Even “good” kids are not above playing the “but mom said I could” or “but dad said I didn’t have to” game. You and your ex must communicate clearly, if at all possible, and established inflexible rules about homework, activities and other school-related questions if you want your children to succeed. Once they realize that you and your ex are presenting a united front, the children are much less likely to play one parent against the other.
If you and your former spouse can overcome your differences in order to benefit your children, everyone in the family will win. This may not be easy but it is preferable to the conflict that can result from constant bickering over school issues.
The Men’s Legal Center is ready to help those who need to work out an agreement with a spouse to share custody and responsibility for children.