Remote Learning and Your Child Custody Schedule
The global pandemic that we continue to battle leaves many divorced parents at their wits’ end regarding how to dovetail their child custody schedules and their children’s remote or hybrid learning schedules and needs. It is a lot, and with the holidays upon us, it can feel nearly impossible. Taking a closer look at all the moving parts, however, may help you get a better handle on the situation.
Your Custody Schedule Remains the Same
The State of Texas has been quite clear that the pandemic does not alter your court-ordered custody schedule – you should continue adhering to this schedule. Further, even if your children are attending school remotely or have a hybrid schedule due to the pandemic, their school day schedule remains the same and should be followed. When you add these two together, it means that whichever parent has the children when the virtual school bell rings on any given day is responsible for ensuring the kids attend school – in whatever form it takes.
Consider Your Schedules
While that all seems pretty straightforward and clear, the fact is that the pandemic has infiltrated every corner of our lives, and proceeding as if this is not the case does not do anyone any favors. Because many parents are working from home and many others have lost hours on the job or are newly unemployed, there is a lot to consider when it comes to keeping our children up to date with their schooling. If one of your schedules or temperaments is far better suited to the kids’ learning schedules and needs, it makes sense to negotiate appropriate scheduling changes with their other parent.
If You Have Been Given an Education Option
The fact is that schools may have been hardest hit by the unpredictability that has become our new normal, and many are having to make significant decision changes midstream. The basic options for your children may include any combination of the following:
A condensed schedule for the year
Traditional in-school learning
Remote learning from home
A hybrid style of learning that combines in-school with remote learning
The child custody order you obtained with your divorce delineates whether you and your ex share joint legal custody or one of you has sole legal custody. Legal custody specifies which parent makes critical decisions related to the children’s education (among other things). If you share joint legal custody, you and your ex will need to have a meeting of the minds and determine what education plan is best for your children and your family as we continue to move forward through this pandemic.