Gearing up for back-to-school after divorce

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Summer is coming to a close, and many children in Florida are gearing up for the new school year. For parents who divorced over the summer, however, back-to-school time can be more complicated than it was in years past. The following are some tips that may make going back to school after a divorce easier.

First of all, parents should make sure they're on the same page with regards to the child's routines, including how they're going to handle transportation, holidays, sick days, and other activities. It can help to put these plans in writing, and to keep them simple so that it is easier for all parties involved to stick to them.

It can help for both parents to introduce themselves to the child's teacher and to let the teacher know about the family's situation. Some children will act out or become emotional at school if they are still adjusting to the divorce. Also, parents should work it out with the school so that they each receive duplicate notifications of any notices sent home.

Parents also have to agree to work together. They shouldn't try to manipulate each other or hide information. An exception can be made if there is a protective order in place in which one parent is not allowed to receive information about the child's schooling. Otherwise, when it comes to school events, parents should try to be cordial with one-another. If that simply isn't possible, then they should try to plan things so they do not have to face each other at these events.

Parents should also make sure they are on the same page with regards to school expenses. Some divorced parents find that it is best for one parent to cover some expenses while the other parent covers the rest. If that's the case, they should make such plans in advance to avoid any issues that could come up.

Parents should review the school year calendar and coordinate it with their child custody and visitation schedules. Keeping a calendar can also help when kids have projects due. Agreeing ahead of time who will help with homework and projects can alleviate stress.

By staying organized and keeping the lines of communication open, parents can ensure their child has a good school year. Parenting after a divorce can have its challenges, but it is possible for parents to work together in a way that serves the child's best interests.

Source: Communities Digital News, "Make the grade: back to school tips for divorced parents," Myra Fleischer, Aug. 18, 2014

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