Divorce can be an extremely difficult time for children. Not only are they losing the family life they’ve always known and seeing their parents in pain, they’re also losing the routine on which they had come to rely. Adding in a change in schools after a split can make this time even more stressful for kids. Below, consider some consequences of and ways to ease the transition to a new school after divorce, and contact a compassionate and experienced New Jersey divorce attorney for additional help.
Courts may award residential custody based on keeping the child in the same school
New Jersey family part judges take seriously their duty to make decisions on parenting time and custody that further the child’s best interests. Judges are often eager to reduce the amount of tumult and transition for children during a split. If, after a divorce, one parent will remain in the area of the child’s current school and another will be living in a home outside the district, courts may find that the child’s interests are best served by making the parent who remains in the district the one with primary residential custody.
Children may not feel heard before a change of schools
A divorce will bring on many changes in a child’s life over which they have little control, including the fact that one of their parents moves out of their home, or that they will need to spend alternating nights at different parents’ houses. A switch in schools is one change with a disproportionate impact on your kids. Discuss a potential change in schools with your children well in advance of a move, and offer your children an opportunity to express how they would feel about a change. While you may not be able to alter the fact that your child will need to attend a different school based on their wishes, you can make sure that they feel comfortable talking about how this switch is affecting them. Make it clear to your kids that they can be honest with you without worrying about protecting your feelings.
Kids need time with their friends during a divorce
Just like you, your children need support from their social circle during a divorce, and not only from their families. If you’ve been forced to transfer your children to a new school due to a divorce-related move, they may not immediately have the same amount of social support in their new school setting as they did in their old one. In order to prevent your child from feeling isolated or becoming depressed, create opportunities for them to spend time with their old friends through weekend playdates or sleepovers.
If you’re in need of experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated help with a New Jersey family law issue, contact the Englewood family law attorneys at Herbert & Weiss for a free telephone consultation on your case, at (201) 500-2151.