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Back-to-school sales are already in full swing and, before you know it, the new school year will be here. This can be a stressful time for kids – even more so when their parents are divorcing. Below are a few tips to help reduce tension.

1. Inform the school and teachers of the divorce. This will make it easier to monitor kids’ behavior, attitude, and performance and address problems before they get out of hand.

2. Maintain an open channel of communication with the other parent. Even if you aren’t on the greatest of terms, it is vital to be able to discuss school schedules, activities, and expectations with your ex. Failure to do so only hurts the kids.

3. Create a joint online calendar (such as Google calendar) that is open and viewable to everyone and update and check it regularly. This can be especially important if your children are involved in sports or other extracurricular activities. As a bonus, a shared calendar can reduce the need for direct communication between parents who don’t get along well.

4. Make sure you keep the first day of school positive. This can be especially important if the child is attending a new school. If you can, drop your child off together.

5. If possible, jointly purchase school clothes and supplies. In Minnesota, such expenditures are expected to be paid from child support but, as it can be a significant expense, contributing (if you have the means to do so) is helpful and benefits your children.

6. Discuss guidelines and expectations regarding the children. Kids tend to do better with a consistent schedule and if you can agree upon joint rules regarding homework, bedtimes, etc., it can ease the transition between homes and improve school performance.

7. Keep the kids out of parenting disputes. This is something that you should always try to do, but it can be especially important during the school year, as kids have other pressures from homework and extracurriculars.

To discuss custody, parenting time, or any family law matter, contact Kruse Family Law at 612.231.9865 or email

The start of the school year is stressful; divorce makes it more so.

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