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Back-to-school: Avoiding disagreements

The stores are packed full of pens and notebooks, and the children are eking out every last drop of summer they can. While many parents breathe a sigh of relief when the regular grind of the school year comes back into play, even the most civil of co-parenting couples can encounter some hiccups.

Common issues that can come up at this time include scheduling conflicts with extracurricular activities and parenting time, disputes over who is going to be responsible for extra expenses like school uniforms or supplies and issues with medical forms or emergency contacts. The vast majority of these disputes can be headed off before the turn into major issues with some deep breathing and open communication.

It's much easier to prevent a disagreement in the first place than try to resolve it later on. One way to do this is to make sure that both parents have full access to all of the children's records and schedules. This way, neither parent is dependent on the other for information. It's often best to put everything in writing — both for documentation purposes and if you forget something later on. There are also websites and apps that allow parents to keep track of the children's schedules, activities and homework without actually having to interact face-to-face.

If you've already found yourself in the middle of a heated dispute with your ex or you believe there are issues relating to the children that the two of you will not be able to agree upon, it may be necessary to work with a family law attorney to pursue action through the courts.

Source: Communities Digital News, "Make the grade: back to school tips for divorced parents," Myra Fleischer, accessed Aug. 11, 2015

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