When a divorce goes badly, it is common for the former spouses to have a difficult time being together. You may be in this situation now, which may be especially upsetting if you have school-age children. With the Texas school year if full swing, you may already be experiencing moments that are awkward and uncomfortable.
Because the wounds are still fresh, it may be hard to imagine your child custody issues will ever be any different, and this may make you sad for your child. However, there are steps you can take to get through this difficult time and to a point where you and your ex can work together to parent your child.
Your child’s teacher and school administrator will appreciate if you share with them the fact that you and your spouse have just gone through a difficult divorce. This will allow them to be more sensitive to your child’s moods and provide options for you and your ex to make the school year go smoother. Your school may agree to send announcements and notices to two separate email addresses or provide a joint password to your child’s teacher’s website so you do not have to communicate with each other.
To allow time for the wounds to heal, here are some things you may wish to consider for a less stressful school year:
- Requesting separate parent-teacher conferences
- Avoiding using teacher conferences as a chance to bash your ex or share details of your divorce
- Not feeling obligated to sit with your ex during your child’s school or athletic events
- Remembering not to embarrass your child or yourself by picking fights in public, such as at school events
- Being the parent who maintains boundaries for your child, such as homework, chores and bedtime, even if your spouse does not
If this is your first or even your second school year since the divorce, you are likely still feeling emotional. As much as you want to present a unified front for your child, being around your ex may simply be too difficult. The good news is that the emotions often fade, and co-parenting may become easier as time passes. However, if you feel your ex’s refusal to comply with court-ordered custody terms is hindering your success as a co-parent, you may find it appropriate to seek legal guidance.