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Back to school season for divorced parents

Co-parenting can be a difficult process. After a divorce, emotions can be raw and there may be little goodwill left between the two parents. The child custody proceedings will set up the framework for the relationship between parents and children. But cooperation is essential between divorced parents if they are to help their children through this potentially difficult time.

This cooperation is especially necessary during back-to-school season. There are many financial and organizational hurdles at this time of the year, and often both parents feel the need to contribute. Pencils, notebooks, folders and a backpack all need to be purchased, as well as new clothes and sports equipment.

If possible, the best thing to do is to split these purchases up between parents. One parent can go with the child to purchase school supplies, and the other can help with the clothes shopping. This helps to spread out the financial strain, and it allows both parents to participate in the process.

Of course, back-to-school also means scheduling conflicts. Children may need to be driven into school early for an honor society meeting, or picked up late after soccer practice. Parents need to have good communication to ensure that these appointments are kept. Parents may want to keep an online calendar that can be viewed and edited by both parties. This helps to avoid any mix-ups.

Of course, these suggestions only work when both parties are willing to cooperate. This will not always be the case. If a spouse is taking actions that are not in the best interests of the child, the other parent can apply for a modification of the child custody agreement. This is a legally binding move, made with the assistance of an attorney, that alters the agreement in a way that will better suit the needs of the child.

Source:  The Huffington Post, "Back-To-School Tips: How Divorced Parents Can Make School Season Less Stressful" No Author Given, Aug. 07, 2013

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