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Steps divorcing parents can take before kids head back to school

Summer is winding down, which means children will soon be setting aside swimsuits and summer toys for books and backpacks. Parents will also be gearing up to make sure their kids are prepared for school. For some Washington parents, though, this means getting their kids used to new homes, in addition to new classrooms and maybe even schools. For these children, divorce has changed how and where they will live. Both parents may be able to make the process easier by following a few tips.

First, faithfully follow all child custody arrangements. Following it will help establish and maintain stability for the children, whether during the week or on weekends. Sticking to the agreement will also help prevent tension between parents and disagreements over schedules. More important, it will help the children transition to their new living arrangements more smoothly.

Second, use technology to communicate better. Communication is crucial to co-parenting, but it often is a problem for many divorcing parents. Communicating does not necessarily mean talking. A shared online calendar can do wonders for both parents, especially one that is easily accessible through a smartphone or tablet. Third, keep teachers in the loop so they will be able to spot any signs of stress from the divorce. Counselors should also be informed.

Also, it can be helpful to have a system for tracking and sharing expenses for both school activities, such as field trips and weekend movie trips with the noncustodial parent. All of these can be expensive if shouldered by just one parent. Finally, present a united front. Their marriage may have ended, but not the commitment to meeting the best interests of their children.

Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Back to School Strategies for Divorced or Divorcing Parents," Cheryl and Joe Dillon, Aug. 11, 2014

Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Back to School Strategies for Divorced or Divorcing Parents," Cheryl and Joe Dillon, Aug. 11, 2014

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