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Divorced parents: Three ways to help children succeed in school

Finding the right child custody arrangement is no easy feat. In some cases, the parents will develop a plan that works well the first time around. In others, parents may discover the arrangement does not serve the child well. This can be clear by changes in the child's behavior or a sudden decline in their academic achievement.

Although it is still early in the school year, parents may already begin to see that their child is not thriving. The following tips can help:

  • Consistency. Try to agree on a schedule. Children are generally successful if they have consistency. Parents can help to foster a consistent environment by having a routine. Parents may agree to have the child come home and complete homework before earning electronic or outdoor play time. Find an arrangement that works best for both parents and the child and do your best to adhere to the plan. Children are also more likely to succeed in school when both households enforce the same bedtime.
  • Transparency. Parents can also increase the likelihood their child will succeed by having clear expectations and communicating these expectations to the child.
  • Communication. It is generally helpful if the parents have open communication with the school and between each other about the child's progress in school. This can remove any delays and better ensure the child's needs at school are met in a timely manner.

If these tips do not help, parents may be wise to consider a modification to the child custody agreement. In certain situations, Michigan courts allow for modification to these agreements. Like most issues involving children, the court will generally apply the best interest of the child standard to determine whether a child custody modification is warranted. An attorney can review your situation and discuss your options.

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