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Tips for starting a new school year as a divorced parent

Back-to-school time can be a challenge for any parent. However, for divorced parents, there are additional issues to address. This is particularly true if this is your child's first school year since the break-up or if a child is going to a new school. Huffington Post asked divorced parents to share some of their tips for making the start of a new school year easier on everyone.

-- If possible, both parents should bring their children to school together on the first day. This can be especially comforting to a child if he or she is going to a new school and/or new to an area. If one parent can't be there, whichever parent is can send pictures to the other to help him or her feel like part of the occasion.-- Create a shared online school calendar including things like holiday events, parent-teacher conferences (which you should attend together if possible) and vacation days. This way, both parents stay informed.-- You may want to let your children's teachers know about your family situation. This is particularly important if there is one or more stepparent in the mix who may be picking a child up on occasion or if there are stepsiblings attending the same school.-- Schedule time to talk with your co-parent at least once or twice a week about your child's assignments, projects, grades and extracurricular activities. For children, knowing that both of their parents are equally aware of what's going on and have the same expectations of them can help keep them on track.

-- If possible, divide the cost of school supplies. These can be expensive, and the cost can increase as your children get older.

When divorced parents can put their own differences aside to focus on the best interests of their children, those children are less likely to feel stressed. If there are changes that need to be made in child support payments to cover additional expenses that come with a child getting older and perhaps getting involved in additional activities, you may want to consult with your family law attorney to ensure that you can count on that support when you need it.

Source: Huffington Post, "10 Smart Back-to-School Tips for Divorced Parents," Brittany Wong, Aug. 24, 2015

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