In a very "traditional" family model, the mother is primarily responsible for the care of the children and the home while the father works long hours to provide financially for the family. The father relies on the mother to inform him of their kids’ schedule and needs.
When a divorce occurs, and child custody is disputed, the mom can demonstrate how she handles taking the children to the doctor for their checkups and discussing their academic status with their teachers on a consistent basis, while the father only knows what he has been told. If you are a father and this scenario relates to your case, you must understand that divorce changes the role for everyone involved. So you must take the initiative in balancing work and raising your children.
The following are tips to help protect your parental rights and become well-informed with your kids’ activities:
Be familiar with your children’s academics
- Visit your kid’s school.
- Know their teachers’ names.
- Know how they are doing in school. Are they submitting their homework? How are their relationships with their classmates? Do they appear happy, sad, or quiet since things are different at home?
- Arrange a monthly meeting with their teachers if your child requires additional attention and you want to be informed about their progress.
- Tell teachers that they can contact you at any time.
- Volunteer to become a chaperone on a field trip.
- Make sure the school has your address and contact information if it has changed. You are on the emergency contact list, and you are supposed to get report cards and notices.
- Know the name and location of your kids’ doctor, dentist, therapist, etc.
- Make an effort to attend regular checkups. If the mother is still the primary scheduler, ask her to schedule annual checkups at an appropriate time where you both can be there.
- Let the medical providers know that they can reach out to you at any time.
- If you child requires ongoing treatments, don’t be afraid to ask questions and be informed of the treatment plan.
- Make sure the medical providers have your address and contact information if it has changed.
- Know what activities your children are signed up for.
- Meet their coaches, instructors, tutors, etc.
- Take them to practices, sessions, or rehearsals that happen during your parenting time.
- Attend all of their activities if possible.
In conclusion, it is important to be there for your child and get involved with their lives. However, you will still have to work together with your ex-spouse. By cooperating for the benefit of your children, it can make the transition into the next chapter of your life much smoother.