Divorced parents in California who have children might have concerns about how sending them back to school will affect their circumstances. The best way to avoid any issues is to prepare ahead of time with a parenting plan that anticipates these issues.

A parenting plan is an agreement in which divorced parents settle on the times that they are responsible for their children. However, it can also address “what if” situations when children are in school. There are a few types of parenting plans, but no matter which one they use, the parents should decide on a standard mode of communication, such as phone calls, texts or emails, and stick to it.

Traditional parenting plans may involve the children living with one parent and staying with the other parent for one weekday evening and alternating weekends. Whichever parent the children are staying with when they have homework, need forms filled out, need lunch money or made lunches, or other school-related matters is the one responsible for ensuring that these matters are addressed. However, some parents may agree to address certain matters. For example, one parent may always be responsible for lunch money while the other takes on the responsibility of picking up the children from an extracurricular activity.

Shared parenting plans involve the parents splitting their time with their children as equally as possible. In such cases, both parents may find it advisable to keep school clothes and supplies at their homes.

Divorcing parents can create their own parenting plans, and the court prefers it that way because it saves time. However, if they are unable to come to an agreement without help, mediation is one way in which they can work out their differences. The court could appoint a mediator, or the parents could see a private mediator on whom they agree. Each parent may want to obtain separate legal representation regardless of the process that is used.