When you are a parent, back-to-school season is always hectic. If you are divorced, however, the chaos is often magnified substantially. Not only do you have to worry about making sure your kids are prepared for school and their extracurricular activities, you have to coordinate with your ex to make sure one of you is available to drop them off or pick them up. Additionally, you need to determine who is paying for what, make sure you are on the same page about schedules, and send consistent messages to your kids about things like homework time and curfews.

Even though parents who are dealing with a child custody plan have their work cut out for them during the school year, there are a few things they can do to simplify things.

First, use technology to your advantage. Check the school’s website to stay updated on your kids’ grades, and look into what apps could help make your lives easier. For example, there are apps for financial planning and websites that offer shared calendars to eliminate confusion and conflict.

Next, talk to the principal or your children’s teachers to make sure they know what kind of family dynamic you have. You can request that you both be contacted with important information, and even set up separate parent-teacher conferences if you’d rather not be in the same room for too long.

Being on top of co-parenting during back-to-school season can be stressful and overwhelming. Taking charge of the situation by utilizing your access to technology and resources at the school, however, can help keep the waters calm throughout the school year.

Source: Huffington Post, “Back to School: Learning to Share Is Not Just for Kids,” Nicole H. Sodoma and Penelope Hefner, Aug. 1, 2013