Legally speaking, you are certainly not required to tell your child’s teacher if you’re getting a divorce. The only person you legally have to notify is your spouse when you file the divorce petition. You serve them this paperwork, and then you can determine who to tell beyond that.
All that being said, there are some strong arguments in favor of informing teachers about an upcoming divorce. Here are three reasons to do so.
1. A support system
Whether or not they are intended to be a support system for a child, this is often what teachers become. The child may have questions, concerns or worries. The more that the teacher knows about what is happening in that child’s life, the better they can provide guidance and support when necessary.
2. Classroom changes
Additionally, teachers may notice changes in the classroom. Maybe the child has emotional outbursts over things that wouldn’t have bothered them before. Maybe their academic progress starts to slow down. The teacher can counteract some of these things more effectively if they know why it’s happening and what to look out for.
3. Pickups and drop-offs
From a safety perspective, it’s also wise to inform the school just so they will know if there are any changes to the pickup and drop-off schedule. Who should drop the children off in the morning? Who is legally allowed to take them from school in the afternoon? You don’t want to have any confusion over this.
If you and your spouse are moving toward a divorce, talking to the teacher is just one area to consider. Carefully look into your legal options while dividing parenting time responsibilities, marital assets and much more.