It’s back-to-school season, and that means that you and your kids have a lot going on. If you are going through a divorce or were recently divorced, getting your kids back in the school routine can be even trickier. Understanding the basics of back-to-school as they apply to divorce, however, can help you become better prepared for the school year ahead. If you have divorce concerns regarding your children and back to school, an experienced Houston family law attorney can help. 

Texas Standard Possession Order

In the State of Texas, the children of a divorced couple generally live primarily with one parent and have a visitation schedule with the other parent. The standard possession order addresses this visitation schedule and delineates the visitation basics, including:

  • Weekend visitation
  • Holiday visitation
  • Child pickup and returns 
  • School schedules (drop-offs and pickups)

Additionally, the Texas family code provides that both parents – at all times – are entitled to remain informed about their children’s status at school, to make important decisions related to their children’s educations, to consult with the school officials at their children’s schools, to attend their children’s school activities, and to be named as their children’s emergency contacts. 

Planning Ahead

The kids are going back to school, and if you are going through a divorce or were recently divorced, this means that you’re going to have to do some additional planning (on top of all the planning that went into back to school when you weren’t divorced). The best path forward is to access your children’s school calendars online and enter the dates and times of all the school holidays, early outs, concerts, parent-teacher conferences, and everything else into your own calendar. Once you’ve comingled your calendars, it will provide you with a snapshot of what’s to come. Further, it will make it that much more convenient for you and your ex to coordinate your schedules in relation to your children.

Stay Involved

You are entitled to stay involved in your children’s scholastic life, so avail yourself of this opportunity. Talk to your children’s teachers and/or the administrative staff to determine if there’s a way for you to volunteer at the school. Schools can often use additional help, and it is not only extremely rewarding to help out, but it can also help you and your children continue to deepen your bond post-divorce. Even parents with extremely tight schedules can often find a way to volunteer at their children’s schools in some capacity. Get creative by thinking about how your particular brand of expertise might be put to good use. Staying involved in your children’s schools can help make your hectic post-divorce schedule more manageable. 


You and your ex divorced for a reason, and you may not feel like fully cooperating with him or her at the moment. When it comes to back to school, however, you’re going to need to work together to make sure everything runs smoothly. If you make it your goal to coordinate your schedule with your ex and to cooperate fully regarding everyone’s busy schedules, you might be surprised by how well you manage to cooperate with one another. If it goes less well than you hoped, remember that you are at least keeping the lines of communication open, which is very important for your children – and for your back-to-school scheduling. 

Expect the Unexpected and Plan Accordingly

When it comes to kids and schedules, it’s important to expect the unexpected. Any number of circumstances can throw a wrench into your plans, including:

  • If your child wakes up sick on a school day, you and your ex will likely need to perform some serious feats of scheduling. 
  • Snow days (even in Houston) and closures due to power outages, flooding, and more happen, and these schedule glitches can leave you reeling.
  • Even the most organized parents run into scheduling hiccups. If you or your ex’s schedule changes suddenly, for instance, you’ll both need to address the issue. 
  • If you hire after-school care, it can add an additional layer of scheduling challenges. 

All told, it’s in you and your kids’ best interests to have a backup plan when it comes to your back-to-school schedule. 

Your Backup Plan

Once you’ve created a schedule that works for your children, for you, and for your ex, it’s important to dig a bit deeper and formulate a backup plan. It’s inevitable – you are going to experience scheduling challenges – but if you have a Plan B in place, it will not only help but can also provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ve covered all your bases. Backup plan basics include:

  • If one of you faces a scheduling emergency, it helps to have a list of pinch hitters on hand. This list should include anyone who might be able to help you take care of your children in a tight situation, such as their grandparents, aunts and uncles, babysitters, and trusted neighbors and friends. 
  • If you and your ex have staggered work schedules, you can arrange to have whoever isn’t working swoop in during scheduling problems.
  • If you work similar hours, you can make the determination of who’s going to stay home with the kids based on whose work is most critical that day (or by simply taking turns). 

However you decide to proceed, preparing ahead of time is going to leave you ahead of the game. 

If You’re Facing a Divorce, Consult with an Experienced Houston Family Lawyer Today

Back to school is always an exciting – if stress-inducing – time of year. If you’re going through a divorce or were recently divorced, however, you are facing some additional challenges. The dedicated legal team at The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C., in Houston, has the experience, skill, and compassion to help ensure that you and your children’s best interests are well protected now and into the future. We’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 713-781-7775 for a free consultation today.