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Tips for sending your kids back to school after parents split

The beginning of a new school year is often hectic and challenging for kids and parents alike. However, for families where the parents have separated or divorced over the summer, the back-to-school transition can be even more daunting, even if the kids don't have to go to a new school.

Parents can make the upcoming school year less difficult for their kids by putting some extra time and effort (preferably working together) into getting their kids back into the groove of the school year amidst a family structure that has changed.

Talk to your kids' teachers, school counselors and coaches about your new family dynamic. Even if your kids seem to be adjusting well, they may begin to act out or shut down when they return to school. It helps if the adults with whom they're interacting understand the possible cause of any changes in behavior so that you and they can work together to help your children.

It's also important to update your contact information so that school officials know how to contact you and/or your spouse or other caregiver in an emergency. You may also need to notify them about who is allowed to drop off and pick up your kids from school and afterschool activities.

If possible, both you and your co-parent should participate in back-to-school shopping with your kids. This will help them see that you're both still active participants in their lives. You may want to split up the duties, perhaps with one parent helping them shop for clothes and the other for school supplies. Determine who's paying for what ahead of time so that your kids aren't exposed to any squabbling about the cost of their purchases.

Encourage your children to talk about their school day. Even if they don't feel like talking on a particular day, keep trying. They'll appreciate the fact that you're interested, even if they may not show it.

Regardless of your current relationship with your co-parent, the beginning of the school year is one of those times where showing your kids that you're unified as their parents in caring for them is most crucial. If the new school year brings challenges that you didn't anticipate when drafting your parenting plan, your family law attorney can help you work to seek any necessary changes that are necessary for your children's best interests.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "4 Tips for Prepping Your Child to Go Back to School," accessed Aug. 08, 2017

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