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Co-parenting through the new school year

The new school year is looming in Maryland and elsewhere. As newly divorced parents attempt to iron out the details of their child custody agreements, they are bound to experience some miscommunication and general difficulty. Experts say you should not be discouraged by the initial phases of co-parenting, which requires a fine balance of dispute resolution and interaction with your ex-spouse. These gurus provide a list of important topics to discuss with your co-parent before the school year begins.

Homework is a huge part of the modern child's life. In fact, this is one of the most important topics to discuss before starting a new school year. Which parent will be responsible for ensuring that homework is submitted on time? Are children expected to work independently for some of their schoolwork? Attempt to identify a strategy that will allow you to help your children with certain subjects or on certain days. Do not let homework slip through the cracks during the first days of the school year.

Your child may also be interested in participating in extracurricular activities. This is also worth discussing before the school year begins. The financial and time aspects of these activities should be reviewed to determine whether they will comply with the provisions in your child custody agreement. If the activities would put an undue burden on either parent, an alternative may be in order.

Finally, make sure you have a plan for parent-teacher conferences. Yes, this is an awkward setting in which to interact with your ex, but it is important to remember that the meeting is designed to benefit the child. Encourage all adults to minimize their own feelings in order to promote the children's well-being.

If you have questions about navigating the school year with your current child custody agreement, consider speaking with a qualified Maryland family attorney. These professionals can help you learn more about your rights and responsibilities, ensuring a smooth transition from summer fun to school days.

Source:, "Co-parenting tips for kicking off this new school year on the right foot" Diane L. Danois, Aug. 12, 2013

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