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Co-Parenting & High School Prom

Tips for co-parents when navigating their child’s high school prom.

It’s the end of your child’s senior year of high school and for many parents, this means it’s time to prepare for prom. Amid many other senior year festivities, such as graduation and other annual school events, you and your co-parent are likely facing some new discussions and decisions. Here are some tips to help you navigate high school prom successfully:

Teenagers at prom

Divvy up prom expenses

It’s important for parents with joint custody to discuss prom related costs and who will pay for what. If your relationship allows, set a budget that’s reasonable for both you and your co-parent and then divvy up expenses from there. Some potential costs you may want to account for include:

• Prom attire (dresses, suits, shoes, etc.)
• Prom ticket
• A corsage or boutonniere
• Photos
• Transportation
• Dinner

You and your co-parent may decide to split prom costs evenly, or each pay for certain items. Either way, using a tool built to share expenses can make the process painless. TalkingParents offers the Accountable Payments feature, which is designed for co-parents to keep track of all shared parenting expenses. You and your co-parent can easily and securely make payment requests and send or receive money, while keeping all transactions documented.

Discuss rules and/or special circumstances

Whether your co-parenting relationship is new or old, prom may bring up situations that you haven’t faced before. You and your co-parent may have certain rules or guidelines in place for your child that vary during certain circumstances, such as holidays or special occasions. Regardless of who has custody of your child on prom night, it’s beneficial to discuss the following:

• Dating rule
• Driving rules
• Spending allowances
• Curfew

You and your co-parent may decide to uphold the rules you currently have in place or make exceptions and allowances for certain items. In either case, it’s helpful to have a discussion with your co-parent about these matters so you can come to an agreement together.

Teenagers getting ready to go to prom

Coordinate on safety

On a busy night like prom, co-parents should take extra time to communicate with their teen. Knowing where your child will be and when is important, especially in joint custody situations. You and your co-parent should both talk to your teen about their prom plans so that their location is known at all times. Make sure your teen is aware that they need to communicate with you and/or your co-parent if their plans change.

Teenagers going to prom

Facilitate participation from both parents

Prom is a special time for teens and many parents want to find a way to get involved. If your co-parenting relationship allows, talk about how you can share in these experiences with your child or split them up in some way. If your co-parenting relationship does not allow for joint participation, co-parents should consider sharing photos or videos with each other so they can both take part.

TalkingParents allows you to share photos and videos with your co-parent in one, secure place through our Secure Messaging feature. We also offer Video Calling, which gives co-parents a way to see and talk to their child during special moments like before-prom photos.

Communication is key

Taking some time to plan for prom on the front end can take unnecessary stress or conflict out of the equation. TalkingParents offers several tools that can help you and your co-parent communicate, coordinate, and stay organized. Check out our Features page to learn more.

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