Summer time has flown by and getting ready for school is on many parents’ minds. Having to get school supplies, looking at class schedules, going to fee nights become part of our to-do lists and schedules. Signing kids up for extracurricular activities and figuring out before and after school care needs to be done. Even if your children look forward to a new school year, they also are probably nervous about new teachers and new classmates.
Parents who are separated or divorced also tend to be nervous as this time of year approaches and need to consider how to approach this time of year, who gets to talk to the teachers, who gets to see the paperwork that comes home from school, who gets to attend conferences, etc. If you have joint legal custody with the other parent, working together to make decisions in the best interests of your children is expected (Va. Code Section 20-124.1, as amended); accordingly, both parents should be included in conferences and communications from the school. If only one parent has sole legal custody, that parent can make decisions (Id.); however, it does not automatically preclude the other parent from having access to information from the school. The other parent may still be able to have copies of school records, may still be able to communicate with teachers, may still be able to participate in meetings at the school. (Va Code Section 20-124.6, as amended).
Back-to-school time can be difficult for kids and adults. It’s important to know your rights and keep lines of communication open.
Provided by Julie Cillio with Owen & Owens in Richmond.