During the summer, kids’ and parents’ worlds often drift apart. While parents are embroiled in the day-to-day of work and kids are swept up in non-routine activities like summer camps, it can be all too easy for parents to forget that kids will experience a jolt when going back to the “real world” of school and homework. Managing the back-to-school transition as a divorced parent can mean a lot of careful planning.

At Boileau Conflict Solutions, we are experts at crafting parenting plans, from the simplest to the most complex — often for parents of different nationalities who may live in different countries. We also provide long-term conflict management to assist with co-parenting after divorce.

Parenting plans are never one size fits all and as kids grow older they need adjusting. The best parenting plans are written with the right balance of flexibility and detail. In California, courts often favor joint legal custody, which means decisions about things like education and extracurricular activities may need to be made cooperatively. Mediation can help parents to work together to adjust for changes in a child’s development and education. Some issues parents may face with back-to-school planning include:

  • During the school year, managing exchanges when children are being picked up from school or dropped off to activities becomes important. Ensuring that parents are able to communicate with each other and that children are in safe hands is essential. Parents may be commuting by car and unable to text or at meetings during the day, so methods of communication should be well established, with agreed fail-safes.
  • Travel and relocation: if a child is relocating, an appropriate time during the school year should be agreed on. If a parent is relocating, the parent with physical custody will experience extra burden and stress which may need to be accommodated for. Changes need to accommodate a parent’s schedule if a new job requires the parent to travel.
  • Extra-curricular activities will change as the child gets older. Parents will want to agree on what is appropriate for the child’s developmental age and safe for the child. Parents will need to agree on a fair way to pay for the costs of any extracurricular activities.
  • If children move schools, when the school is located much further away, parents may need to swap school-run duties. As the child’s education progresses, children will graduate and parents will need to decide on where their child goes to school and who pays for schooling and educational materials. If the child attends a religious school for example are parents in agreement on the child participating in religious afterschool activities?

  • At Boileau Conflict Solutions we are caring, well-educated mediators who have backgrounds in psychology and the law. We consider the child’s perspective in any divorce negotiation, factoring in children’s needs based on the child’s developmental level and unique personality. When crafting or amending parenting agreements, the best interests of the child should be top priority. We help to mediate extremely nuanced and sensitive parenting plans that can withstand changes, or help to update plans to reflect the child’s age and educational level. We provide ongoing negotiation and conflict management for divorced parents. Mediation is a completely confidential process designed for working out the best and most sensitive solutions to the complex problems parents and children face as the child advances through their education. We are available to speak 7 days a week via skype, zoom or telephone, or at our offices in Boulder CO, Campbell CA and Irvine CA.

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