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Divorced parents can plan for back-to-school

When Maryland parents decide to divorce, concern about the effects on their children is often uppermost in their minds. This can be especially true as kids head off to a new school year. Every academic year can be a time of uncertainty, anxiety and anticipation as children prepare for new friends, teachers and classes. However, the school year transition can be especially challenging when the children's lives are split between two homes for the first time. While academic life after divorce will become routine in future years, parents can help to ease kids' transition in that first back-to-school period after a divorce.

If possible, both parents can speak with their children together about their academic goals for the year. Despite divorce, both parents are often united in their commitment to their children's education. By talking about goals and challenges for the upcoming year, kids can feel that they have both of their parents' support in facing the upcoming academic year. If there is too much tension to have a joint family meeting, kids can share their separate discussions with the other parent as well in an open, supportive environment.

In addition, while the divorce is being negotiated, it can be important to address additional educational expenses. One parent may be paying child support to the other, but there might be a separate agreement for school trips, supplies and other fees and expenses that can accompany extracurricular activities. While parents can work this out on an ad hoc basis, including an agreement in the divorce settlement can add additional certainty to the process.

There are a number of issues that are important to consider in divorce negotiations, from future college tuition to school uniform costs. A family law attorney may work with a divorcing parent to achieve a fair settlement on issues related to property division and child support.

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