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3 tips to minimize back-to-school stress on co-parents

Summer vacation is drawing to an end and back-to-school supplies are starting to fill the aisles of grocery stores everywhere -- which means that a real headache is about to start for parents who are newly divorced and still struggling with the co-parenting process.

Here are 3 quick tips that can get you through the beginning of the year without having a meltdown on your ex over pocket folders and gel pens:

1. Get an online calendar going.

There are plenty of free online calendars available, so make one for the kids' school schedules. Use it to make note of anything important to you both (like band recitals and parent-teacher conference days) and important reminders (like the day your first grader is responsible for bringing the classroom snack).

A calendar for the kids helps ease communication difficulties and makes it easier for both parents to stay informed and involved in their children's school life.

2. Pick up an extra backpack.

When you're out shopping for backpacks, pick up an extra one. Turn that one into a backpack that travels with the kids so that you can exchange important papers, notes or anything else with your ex. That's not only a good way to stay organized but an excellent way to avoid putting your kids in the middle of adult business.

3. Share the shopping.

The odds are good that child support is barely going to make a dent in the expenses that come around during the first month of every school year. Clothes, shoes and backpacks are only the start of the list. Each child probably has a mandatory list of school supplies that he or she needs and many schools have additional fees for art supplies, music and more.

Talk to your ex about how much more is needed. If you're paying support, do your best to contribute a little extra to make things easier on both your ex and your kids. If you're receiving support, explain the additional costs and ask your ex to pitch in by picking up a few things.

For more advice on child custody and co-parenting issues, talk to your attorney today.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "Back to School Tips for Co-Parents," accessed July 25, 2017

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