Back-to-school season can be stressful and overwhelming for all parents, but for parents who are divorced, it can become more complicated.

Deciding who will purchase school supplies, who will be there on the first day of school, and whether both parents’ names are listed on important school forms are just a few important items to consider. To help you balance back-to-school needs as a divorced parent, let us share with you a few key considerations.

First, we encourage you to split the costs of any school supplies your child needs. Most schools publish a list of supplies for your child to bring the first day. Before going back-to-school shopping, consider splitting the list in half. Alternatively, you or your ex-spouse could purchase the entire list and reimburse the other party for half the total cost. School supplies can be pricey, so sharing the responsibility between both parents can help lessen the burden.

Second, if possible, consider dropping off your child on the first day of school together. The first day of school, particularly for younger children, can be an overwhelming and stressful day. By standing as a united front, your child may feel more at ease with both parents present. Further, neither you nor your ex-spouse will have to miss this important day!

Next, teachers play an important role in your child’s life, which is why it is important to keep him or her updated about who is who in your blended family. This can help make it easier for the teacher to communicate appropriately with your child, as well as ensure that only those with the appropriate authority are listed on your child’s school forms.

Finally, consider creating a shared Google calendar to keep your ex-spouse up-to-date with important school events and extracurricular activities. This way, both you and your ex-spouse have quick and easy access to the schedule, and can determine which events you would both like to attend.

These are just a few tips to help balance back-to-school needs as a divorced parent.

We know that family disputes can be particularly challenging to resolve, particularly when it comes to your children. Do not hesitate to contact our office to ask us your questions and to evaluate if mediation is the right fit for your family law needs.