Justin Raber Attorney at Law


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Back-to-school and family law issues

The first day of the new school year often sets the tone for the months to come. A child who goes off to school in a positive mood may make a good first impression with teachers and attract similarly cheerful friends. A child whose first day of school starts with confrontation and negativity may be too distracted to do well and may even act out. West Virginia parents who have recently dealt with family law issues like divorce and child custody likely understand how tender a child's heart can be and may be looking for ways to make back-to-school a good experience.

Ideally, both parents can be available to see the children off to school the first day. However, this is not always possible, especially if it will increase the tension of an already busy morning. The parent with custody can take the high road by sending the other parent a picture of the children heading off for their first day. This gesture may provide a standard for communication throughout the school year.

Parents are also reminded to contact the school about their family situation, particularly if the divorce is recent and the children are still adjusting. The administration and classroom teachers are usually willing to provide duplicate sets of papers for divorced parents, and a guidance counselor can be aware of the situation in case a child needs help throughout the year. Some West Virginia schools even offer special support groups for children whose parents have separated.

Raising children as divorced parents comes with many challenges, and courts try to address as many of these challenges as possible through custody rulings. Seeking the best interests of the children is primary, but some parents may have a difficult time accepting a custody plan. Parents who are struggling with a former spouse who refuses to cooperate with a parenting plan can seek the advice of a family law attorney.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Back-To-School Tips For Divorcing Parents", Carla Schiff Donnelly, Accessed on Aug. 18, 2017

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