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Communication key to effective co-parenting during back-to-school time

As the daylight hours grow shorter and the nights chillier, Boston area parents and school-aged children know that it's soon time to head back to school. For parents and children, the school year presents many challenges as homework, after school activities, sporting events and time spent with friends make for hectic schedules. For parents who are separated or recently divorced and who share custody of a child, back-to-school time can be an especially anxious time as it often means increased communication and coordination with an ex.

Regardless of one's feelings about an ex or soon-to-be ex, it's imperative that both parents act like grown-ups and vow not to argue, fight or engage in other childish or petty behaviors towards one another. A child and his or her best interests must come first and, for any child, a new school year comes with enough changes and adjustments.

As a child shuttles back and forth between parents during the week or on weekends, it's important that parents communicate to ensure that homework assignments are completed, school activities attended and that a child is getting proper nutrition and enough sleep. It's often also a good idea to keep a child in the loop with regard to co-parenting schedules and, when possible, to maintain consistent before and after school routines between households.

At times, parents may have differing opinions about appropriate bedtimes or participation in school activities. When these types of issues crop up it's again important to keep the focus on the child. Parents who are having a particularly difficult time co-parenting effectively would be wise to seek professional help which may include the advice and guidance of a family law attorney who handles divorce and child custody matters.

Source: The Huffington Post Canada, "How to Tackle the New School Year As a New Divorcee," Nathalie Boutet, Aug. 13, 2015

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