Navigating Back to School While Preparing for Separation and Divorce

Even as adults, many people experience the “back to school” rush of early September with summer vacations ending and preparations in full swing to ready the children for the start of the school year.

It’s also a time when many parents start to plan out the rest of their year and big decisions start to come into focus. For some, this includes whether to get separated or divorced. Before taking that step, parents need to think carefully about the child-related logistics before school starts or early on in the school year to minimize the impact of such a life-changing decision on their children.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Some of the most common questions a parent has are, “Should my spouse or I move?” and “If I move, where should I go?” Sometimes a move to a temporary place is necessary. If you are the person who is going to leave the family home in order to separate, ideally you want to find a place to live where you:

  • Can be comfortable for an extended period of time;
  • Are in your children’s school district;
  • Are near the other parent;
  • Can provide your children a place to do homework; and
  • Can provide your children with their own bedroom.

Other Factors to Consider

Every situation is different and your family’s needs during a separation and divorce are dependent on your unique circumstance.

While not everyone has the same experience with juggling a separation or divorce and children, below is a list of other common issues many parents may face when planning for divorce during the school year:

  • Do I need a signed separation agreement before I move out?
  • Who will the children live with?
  • What school will the children go to?
  • What will the childcare arrangement be?
  • Who will pay for the children’s expenses?
  • Who will be responsible for transporting the children?
  • How will we share time during the holidays or school breaks?

The decisions you make early on can have tremendous impact on the outcome down the road in your case. Understanding the consequences of a particular decision or choice and how it relates to a future settlement or court case is critical.

Next Steps

Empower yourself and seek information and advice from a family law lawyer in advance of moving forward with a separation and divorce for your children and your own well-being. It will ensure that you consider each factor relevant to your family and it will put you in the best position to navigate the process, along with your everyday life.

Erin Kopelman is a divorce attorney who handles cases involving domestic relations and family law, including custody and visitation. For more information, contact Erin at [email protected].