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Parents: Prepare for back-to-school co-parenting challenges

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Summer is winding down and that means it's almost time for the kids to go back to school. In fact, many schools have already started. This is often something parents look forward to, especially after months of trying to keep kids entertained and safe.

However, if you are co-parenting, there are some challenges with this time of year that can make the back-to-school season more painful than exciting. Below, we examine some tips for overcoming these co-parenting challenges and make this back-to-school season easier for everyone.

Addressing financial issues

A new school year often goes hand-in-hand with new school supplies and school clothes. When money is tight and there are issues with child support, parents can very quickly erupt in a dispute. Try to avoid having these disputes or discussions in front of your kids. Additionally, you can mitigate the tension of these disputes by discussing the financial needs early and directly, splitting up shopping responsibilities and setting reasonable expectations.

Reviewing parenting time changes

When your child goes back to school, your custody arrangement can change. Make sure you review these changes with your child so that he or she knows where to go and who will be picking up or dropping off at school. This can ease the transition into a new routine. Also, be sure to inform your child's teachers have both of your phone numbers and emails. They should be advised of who they should call in the event of emergencies and other issues.

Prioritizing your child's experiences

The school year is full of conferences, concerts, games and other types of events and extracurricular activities. While it may be difficult for parents to divvy up their appearances at these events or, alternatively, attend the same event at the same time, remember that such arrangements are necessary to support your child's education and experiences.

What to do if disputes arise

Despite your best planning and communication efforts, arguments can arise when kids start a new school year. If you cannot work them out with the other parent, it may be necessary to consult an attorney and discuss your legal options including support modification or revising a parenting plan.

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