Co-parenting a minor child with a former spouse or romantic partner is rarely easy. However, there are undoubtedly times when this undertaking is more challenging than others. For example, co-parenting can be particularly tough around the holidays, when kids get sick and when parents themselves get sick. Similarly, co-parenting adjustments can be challenging in unique ways when it’s time to start a new school year.
Even if co-parents have a solid understanding of how they’ll approach the academic year thanks to a nuanced parenting plan, situations can arise during this time due to the unpredictable evolution of a child’s needs and a family’s circumstances.
Structure and flexibility
The primary benefit of most parenting plans is the clear structure of rights, responsibilities and privileges detailed in ways that are easy for everyone involved to understand. However, when situations arise that require flexibility, it’s best to honor that need unless the situation clearly calls for another approach.
Essentially, unless your co-parent is clearly taking advantage of the situation or is habitually skirting your rights and/or their responsibilities, keeping in mind that the transition to the school year can be tough and may warrant some flexibility is generally a good idea.
Focusing on your child’s best interests should always be the goal of your co-parenting arrangement. However, there are times when you’ll need to consider your co-parent’s and your own as well. By honoring the structure of your parenting agreement – while remaining flexible when possible and appropriate – you should be in the strongest possible position to navigate the transition to the school year with success.