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How to navigate back-to-school season as a single parent

Back to school season can be stressful -- especially if you wait until the last minute. Parents are often scrambling to buy school supplies and new clothes so their kids can start the school year off right. There's also the need to organize pickups and drop-offs and how the kids will be cared for until you can get off work.

For single parents who are juggling shared custody with an ex-spouse, back to school time can be even more stressful. Here are a few tips for dealing with back-to-school season as a single parent, and helping your kids start the new year off right:

1. Keep things simple and follow a plan: If things worked last year, don't change the plan. Just keep things simple and organize the school nights and weekends in the same way as the year before. If changes are necessary, avoid complicating things. Keep them as simple as possible.

2. Stay flexible at all times: It might be written out a certain way in your divorce agreement or divorce orders, but life doesn't always go according to the plan. Yes, consistency is key, but a little bit of flexibility can go a long way to easing the chance of tension between you and the other parent.

3. Think in advance: If you don't plan ahead, little tasks can add up to become a nightmare of last minute responsibility. Waiting until the last minute and failing to communicate vital planning issues with your ex-spouse can also create a headache for you, your spouse and your kids. If you and your spouse can communicate in advance and pan ahead, then it will make back to school time a great deal easier.

Not sure what to do about a difficult parenting situation or disagreement with your ex-spouse? A New Jersey family law attorney can help you gain perspective on whatever issues you're dealing with.

Source: FindLaw, "3 Back-to-School Child Custody Tips for Parents," Brett Snider, accessed Aug. 01, 2017

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