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Setting the tone for a good school year post-divorce

It's back-to-school time for children in Florida. Some of them have already started the school year, while others will be starting soon. However, for children whose parents divorced during the summer, going back to school can present new challenges.

The first day of school is an important milestone in a child's life, and having a good first day back can bode well for the rest of the school year. A parenting plan may already lay out which parent has custody of the child on the first day of school. However, if divorced parents are able to cooperate enough, they may both want to be there when their child gets on the school bus or walks to school. This helps the child feel supported by both parents.

Of course, parents should avoid fighting in front of their child, so if there is still animosity between them, having both of them see the child off to school may not be the best idea. A child may be nervous enough about starting a new school year, and hearing their parents arguing could make it worse. If this is the case, the parent who has custody of the child on the first day of school can at least take a photo of the child wearing his or her first day of school outfit, and send it to the child's other parent. This can set the grounds for more cooperative co-parenting.

In addition, if parents divorced over the summer, they may want to make sure the school's transportation department knows of any changes that may take place in getting the child to and from school. Parents may also want to notify the teacher of their new child custody schedule. This way teachers can send notices to both parents. It can also help to let the child's guidance counselor know of the divorce. This can help if the child acts out or is upset at school. There may even be support groups for children whose parents have divorced.

In the end, parents should take the high road, and try to work together as much as possible when it comes to raising their child. By setting their differences aside, for the sake of the child, it can help make the transition to a new school year run more smoothly.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Back-To-School Tips For Divorcing Parents," Carla Schiff, Aug. 8, 2017

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