California parents who are divorced may have additional expenses and logistics to consider when they look to the school year ahead. However, since this is a natural time of transition, it may also be a time when they can work to deal with the transition of divorce as well.
Parents may want to talk with children about their challenges and goals for the year ahead. This may address not just academics but also personal relationships, extracurricular activities, jobs and more. Parents can help children formulate their top goals and write them down. They might be able to have this conversation with the other parent present, but if they are unable to, they can encourage the child to talk about the goals with that parent as well.
Parents may also need to consider expenses that are not covered in the child support agreement. This could include additional school supplies or costs like school dances. Some parents may agree to split these types of costs evenly. Older children may be able to contribute if they also have jobs. Getting to and from school and other activities may also be a consideration. If the children are teenagers, this is a good time to begin teaching them about taking on more responsibility, budgeting and keeping track of expenses regardless of whether parents or children are ultimately paying for things.
These discussions will also depend on the child custody arrangements. In some cases, each parent may have the child for roughly half the time while a child in another case may only spend every other weekend with the parent. That parent may remain involved in helping the child with goals and expenses but be less involved with logistics. Parents may address some of these issues in the parenting agreement, including which rules will be consistent in both households.