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Divorce doesn't have to mean tension for kids returning to school

The normal stress of the back-to-school season may be felt even more when parents are divorced. While support payments may cover typical expenses such as clothing and shoes, other expenses and decisions may become a source of contention if parents are not prepared to work as a team despite the divorce. As difficult as it may be, family advocates urge Tennessee parents to share as much of the planning and provide as much financial, administrative and emotional support as possible throughout the school year.

When the children come home from school during the first few weeks, they may have forms to complete, schedules to learn and lists of supplies to obtain. If both parents can be present when these materials are reviewed, they may find it easier to help the child stay on track as the year progresses. Additionally, the parents can agree on the best ways to split the cost of some expenses that the divorce order may not cover.

Ideally, the divorce order will contain contingencies for things like the costs of extracurricular activities. If it does not, there may be some disagreement about which parent should pay, especially if one parent does not support the activity. Working through these possibilities early in the school year may prevent more stress for the children as they settle into their routine.

Parenting after a divorce may be a challenge, especially if one's co-parent is uncooperative or uninvolved. In some cases, a Tennessee parent may need to seek legal assistance in order to resolve conflicts that arise after a divorce settlement is reached. An attorney can be an excellent source for assistance and guidance in such matters.

Source: fox2detroit.com, "Divorced parents: How to split schedules and cost of back to school", Aug. 31, 2017

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