Pandemics, School, And Custody: What You Need To Know

In the midst of the global pandemic, many divorced couples are finding it difficult to manage child custody disputes due to the close or major delays of family courts. Part of the problem for divorced parents and custody problems are related to the fact that schools are not opening like they normally do. The following are some things you need to know if you are facing custody issues based on the lack of typical school hours:

What Does School Have to Do With Custody?

A significant part of the child custody negotiation process has to do with decisions on the children's schooling. Parents have to agree on which schools to send their children to, who is paying tuition if the schools are private, where the children go after school, and the like. Because all schools are not reopening as normal, this can cause issues for the parents. Under normal circumstances, parents would go to the family court to deal with their differences. Instead, they either have to wait until the family courts reopen or try to come up with a resolution on their own. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. School closures caused by the pandemic can add frustration to an already upsetting situation.

What Are Some Problems Related to School and Custody?

In addition to the issues already mentioned, decisions surrounding school have a major impact on how custody works in many families. For example, school is typically a time for custody exchange in which one parent drops the child at school while the other picks the child up. Not having this system in place interrupts everyone's schedule and can cause tension and inconvenience that is not always easily resolved.

Another problem some parents may have is the fact that school is taking place virtually in many parts of the country, leaving one parent at home to oversee the classes. One parent may not see the other parent as fit to help the child with their schooling while at home. Another issue related to this is when the primary custodial parent has to work when the child would normally be at school. This can mean the child may have to spend more time with the other parent if that parent is available during the day, completely altering the custody agreement.

All of these issues are delicate and should be handled in court. If you cannot get an emergency filing in with your local family court, be sure to consult a family law attorney to see what options you may have available to help sort through any custody issues you have due to the pandemic.