08/20/2013 04:08 pm ET Updated Oct 20, 2013

The One Thing a Divorced Parent Needs to Know Before School Starts

Divorce can often lead to a situation where the parents of children have a difficult time communicating with each other.  Many times this leads to one parent being denied access to the information provided by the children's schools.  As time goes by, this seems to be more and more of a problem with former spouses.

Let's look at a situation where the mom has the children during the school week and you are the dad who has them on the weekends after the divorce. Your first reaction to this denial of information by the mom is to take her to court to punish her.

Of course, you can always do that and get an order from the judge that your ex must provide the school information to you on a timely basis.  You can then follow that by asking the judge to hold your ex in contempt of court for not following that order. But in this instance, there is a simpler and less expensive way to handle issues dealing with your children.

If the mom does not provide you copies of the report cards, notices from teachers and other information sent home from school, you can bypass your ex and get the information yourself.  At the beginning of each school year, simply provide your child's teacher a stack of self-addressed, stamped envelopes and ask that you be provided copies of everything that is sent home with the child.  I have never heard of a teacher denying this request.

This technique applies to doctors, dentists, coaches, tutors, babysitters or anyone else who is helping out your children. If your ex doesn't want to keep you informed, just go get the information directly.

This saves you the money you would spend on your lawyer and the hassle of going to court to get your uncooperative ex to provide you the information.  It is just another way that you can avoid wasting money on lawyers and energy on needless bickering in the divorce process.

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