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4 questions every co-parent should ask about school time

If you're part of a newly split or newly blended family, the back-to-school season brings some issues that need to be addressed so that all co-parents (including the stepparents) are on the same page.

While it's easier to discuss these issues when everyone gets along okay, that isn't always possible -- if you have to, plaster on your best smile and meet at a local coffee shop to talk over the following issues:

1. What school supplies should you buy?

It's normal to chip in a little more (if you can) to cover the extra expenses that go along with the back-to-school season, but you may not be comfortable just handing your ex the cash. If that's the case, ask for a list and pick up the items yourself.

2. Who is going to take responsibility for making sure that homework gets done?

Put your own ego aside and think about each kid involved. Who clicks best with that child? The same parent doesn't have to be responsible for all the kids -- unless that's what works best.

3. How is everyone going to be notified of important school events?

Putting the responsibility on the kids to let each parent know there's a band concert or an art show with one of their pieces in it is a big no-no. Instead, consider using an online calendar that each parent can access in order to see what's going on with minimal actual interaction.

4. What's the plan for parent-teacher conferences?

Are all parents (including stepparents) invited? Is it something the biological parents want to handle alone? Is one parent really more capable and willing to take charge than the rest? Again, this is about what is best for your child, so as long as you're kept informed and allowed to participate in the decision-making process, whatever system you come up with that works is just fine. Aim for one that will avoid awkward confrontations in front of your child's teacher.

For more information about handling co-parenting issues or to discuss post-divorce modifications, talk to your attorney today.

Source: Huffington Post, "Co-Parenting Tips Before School Starts," Diane L. Danois, J.D., July 20, 2017

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