The COVID-19 pandemic has created life challenges for everyone, especially divorced Texas parents attempting to adhere to child visitation agreements and successfully co-parent during these unprecedented times.
Child custody agreements have come into question as parents struggled in the spring to deal with school closures on top of employment difficulties that many faced.
Heading toward the start of a very uncertain school year this fall in Texas, child custody attorneys find that many parents are uncertain as to what is the right thing to do in these very abnormal times.
Right now, it seems there are three options available for kids as schools attempt to re-open, each one requiring cooperation from both parents.
Balancing Schedules and Health Concerns
The biggest challenge that child custody attorneys find many parents facing through all the changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic is how to keep their children safe while balancing co-parenting and work schedules.
Since changes to work schedules have affected child visitation schedules as companies open and close according to state mandates, childcare and visitation schedules have been unbalanced, leaving many parents struggling to satisfy custody agreements.
3 School Options for Parents In Texas
Due to the scheduling challenges that pandemic restrictions have created for parents and school children alike, the plan for reopening Texas schools this fall is a flexible one in an attempt to serve Texas families with school-age children.
With this flexibility in how kids attend, custody attorneys believe that most parents should be able to find an option that works best for their children as well as co-parenting schedules while also keeping health concerns in mind:
- In School Full-Time - Children can go to school full time with COVID-19 health restrictions in place.
- Home/Online School Full-Time - Children can be home-schooled online if parents prefer them to be at home.
- Combination Of School and Home/Online for Older Students - Grades 7 and up can combine some days at home and some days in school.
Even as this is being written, there is a possibility that the start of school will just be delayed in some school districts from 3 to 8 weeks.
Making Co-Parenting Work for School Schedules
Making these schooling options work and fulfilling custody agreements in a co-parenting situation is going to take lots of compromise and communication this school year where nothing is normal to help solidify a schedule.
The best advice for all parents in these situations is to discuss all the options together about which schooling method will work best, then be as amicable and understanding as possible to self-modify custody and visitation agreements around changed work and school schedules.
Parents are reminded to keep the best interest of their children in mind when rearranging schedules and childcare responsibilities.
Creativity and generosity are paramount these days, as is the willingness to share additional school costs as required to provide additional schooling needs.
Flexibility Essential for Co-Parenting
Right now, there is no normalcy in most people’s lives, a challenging part of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic while trying to stay safe.
As Texas schools start to reopen this fall, child custody attorneys urge parents to do their best to work together in creating a highly effective co-parenting and visitation agreement that considers all sides of the issue of getting kids back to school, keeping in mind that working together will bring the best outcome.
In the event that parents are unable to resolve scheduling disputes due to changing school and work schedules, talk to an attorney who can advise on making legal modifications to the prevailing child custody agreement