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Prioritizing your child's education is crucial after divorce

So many issues arise in a divorce -- most, if not all, can be contentious and that brings simmering emotions to the surface for the splitting spouses. For splitting couples who have children, custody issues carry extra weight and bring their own unique set of complications to the table. Aside from the actual determination of sole or joint custody, both parents need to determine what the living situations and ultimate life decisions regarding their child will be following a divorce.

One key custody issue after a divorce is finalized is the child's education. Some couples may decide to move their child from one school to another, which places additional stress on the child as he or she adapts to new family circumstances. A child's productivity at school can also decline following a divorce, leading to excuses such as "I forgot my homework at my mom's or dad's."

Does this mean you are a bad parent? Of course not.

Sometimes a couple realizes that their lives are headed in different directions, and divorce is the solution to their predicament. It may even spare the couple and their children further pain, as living in a home with a hostile environment can be worse than the circumstances of a divorce.

However, the custody issue of education does mean that parents need to set aside their differences and really focus on their child's schooling and homework.

It may be tempting to set aside homework time when you get your night with your son or daughter. You may prefer to play a game or spend some time bonding with your child as opposed to sending them to their room to do homework. But remember -- this is about the best interests of your child. Recognizing school time and placing an emphasis on it will keep you involved in the child's education and provide added structure for your child during a divorce.

Source: East Haddam Patch, "The Impact of Divorce on Academics," Susan Schaefer, Mar. 24, 2012

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