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Co-parenting strategies to ease stress throughout the school year

The start of the school year in Minnesota brings new schedules and extra expenses. Divorced parents will benefit from tackling these demands head on. Planning during the final days of summer vacation will go a long way toward preventing scheduling conflicts and making sure that fees for uniforms, extracurricular activities and supplies get paid.

Parents should review the schedule for the coming academic year together. This way, both parents will know about school events, half days and extracurricular activities. They can decide who will transport children and at what times. Online family calendar tools and phone applications could help family members track their commitments. There could also be a family meeting where children learn their parent's expectations about homework. Although parents might have different approaches to education, each parent should make clear to their children what needs to be done within their individual homes.

A new school year brings many extra bills as well. The terms of a divorce agreement could provide guidance about splitting back-to-school expenses. When issues pop up outside the purview of the document, such as a homecoming dress, parents will need to make decisions. They can divide expenses based on income or split the cost equally.

Successful co-parenting often starts with a comprehensive analysis of a family's needs and goals at the time of the divorce. A family law attorney may advise a person during the process of writing a co-parenting plan and custody schedule. In addition to information about parental rights and obligations, an attorney might manage negotiations to resolve issues about splitting expenses, scheduling vacations and where children will go to school. Legal support may help a person develop a plan that grows with a family and reduces chances for conflict.

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