A problem that often crops up in child custody cases is information sharing when it comes to the kids. It is common, especially in cases where parties are in high conflict, that the parent who is the primary custodian doesn’t let the other parent know about much of the day-to-day information about the children’s education or healthcare. Here’s what you should be doing to keep the other parent informed, and what you should be asking for if you are the non-custodial parent.
When it comes to school, the parent who receives report cards or grade reports needs to email or send copies to the other parent. You also need to inform the other parent of any parent-teacher meetings and any disciplinary problems. Make sure that the other parent has access to whatever Web site the school uses to provide information. It is not enough to just tell the other parent that if they want information, they can just deal with the school themselves. Take the time to send a quick email with copies of important info or a note on problems that arise.
Extracurricular activities are another important part of your child’s life and most parents want to be able to participate. Let the other parent know when school events are being held, when games and practices are, when recitals will be held. Let them know enough in advance so that the other parent can attend if he or she wants to.
Always, always share information on healthcare for the children. If there is an emergency, call the other parent as soon as possible to let them know what’s going on. If there are doctors appointments, send a quick email when you make the appointment so that the other parent can be there if they want to. Make sure that the other parent knows who the children’s doctors or counselors are. If you change doctors, or have to go to a specialist for some reason, provide the name and contact information to the other parent. Make sure that you both have insurance cards for whatever health insurance is used to cover the children.
Remember, there’s nothing bad about keeping the other parent informed on school and medical issues. If they choose to do nothing with the information, that is up to them. However, if you do end up in court and you refused to share this important information with the other parent, you are likely to be facing a pretty unsympathetic judge. The parent that withholds important information about the children’s education and well-being is almost always viewed as the problem parent in any conflict over custody.