When the novel coronavirus arrived in the U.S., our lives changed overnight. Among those major changes was our kids’ access to school. When schools across the nation shut down in response to the virus, parents were suddenly scrambling to figure out how to help their children finish the school year while dealing with their own work situations. As kids prepare to go back to school this fall, we are faced with the same dilemma. For divorced parents, this can be an even bigger challenge. What can you do if your ex is not supporting online learning in the same way you are? It might be time for a change in the custody order.
Joint Custody Might Be Tricky When There Is No in-Person School
Divorced parents of school-aged children have their custody schedules down to a science. Depending on each parent’s work schedule, they may share school drop-off and pick-up duties and alternate nights for dinner and overnight stays. However, these arrangements are often made around the children being in school for eight hours or more per day. With kids being home and needing support and guidance as they navigate online school, how will divorced parents divvy up the responsibility? It will be important to put these new responsibilities in writing and, if one parent cannot fulfill the original custody agreement, to work out a new arrangement, which may include changing child support payments.
Tips for Effective Online Schooling
Just how hard will it be to monitor a child’s virtual school? Teachers and educational experts offer the following tips for successfully navigating online school from home:
- Limit distractions
- Provide a dedicated space for school
- Maintain a strict schedule
- Restrict screen time when not doing school
- Schedule meaningful interactions with peers and friends
It won’t be easy to follow these suggestions in one home, much less two. You know your ex—will he be able to implement and maintain an acceptable school routine in his home? Will your children be successful doing school in your ex’s home? These are legitimate concerns and should be addressed with an attorney if you think problems will arise as the virtual school year drags on.
Contact Nathan Law Offices for Advice
The keys to a successful child custody arrangement in California are clear expectations and a commitment from both parties to the agreement. When a major life change occurs, agreements also have to change. COVID-19 has definitely caused major life changes for us all. Whether we represented you in your divorce or original custody agreement or not, we are here for you now. Contact our Marin County office to speak to our attorney about negotiating a new custody agreement.