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Ease back to school transition for children of divorce

Though North Dakota residents may believe the new year starts in January, the reality is that it starts in September for their school-going children. New teachers, new classes and friends, new schedules and new clothes-all items that help kids transition into their new year. Its difficult enough managing this transition when there is one household-two households only add to the confusion. However, planning ahead and clarifying intentions on how to get through the school year can ease the path for everyone involved.

The Marital Settlement Agreement likely covered the important ticket items, such as food, clothes and shelter when it came to child support payments, but every new year generally brings with it new, unforeseen expenses. Questions such as who will pay for child care when one of the kids is sick or when there is an event such as homecoming are those that need to be addressed at the beginning of the term when there are calm heads prevailing, rather than when the payment deadline is approaching and everyone is more likely to begin arguing. Some might find dividing the additional expenses equally works for them, while others may prefer dividing the items on which expenses might add up.

Its also important to know which parent is going to be responsible for the signup sheets that begin circulating every September and who is going to manage the calendar. Reviewing the yearly calendar at the beginning of the school year to see who is responsible for which event, early dismissal and holiday can avoid confusion when the time comes around. Similarly, parents should also decide how they are going to manage homework at each household.

Even though a marriage has come to an end, parental responsibilities such as child support and visitation continue for many years, depending on the age of the child at the time of the divorce. Working through these issues amicably is always in the best interests of the child, but not always possible. In those circumstances, an experienced family law attorney may be able to intervene to find the best solution for one's issues.

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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