Child Custody & Homeschooling during COVID-19
Many schools are now closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. What guidelines should be followed when determining timeshare now that schools have been closed? Court orders were made to address regularly scheduled holidays and breaks from school. Court orders were not made in anticipation of a global health crisis that would cancel months of school at one time. This sudden thrust into the unknown has resulted in confusion and uncertainty for co-parents, legal professionals, and the courts. The immediate halt to the court system prevents us from obtaining direction from the court. Nevertheless, the legal community has released guidelines in various counties, states, and countries that have provided us assistance during this complicated time.
The guidelines have all be relatively the same. If the parent’s physical custodial time falls during the regular school day, then that would be the parent who would retain custody. Parents should continue to follow the custody order as though the child were still in school and following the school’s schedule before the COVID-19 interruption. Ideally, parents would communicate with each other and determine what is in the best interest of the child. This is a necessary time for parents to work together and co-parent. It is possible that one parent has better resources than the other parent to provide homeschooling. Therefore, while the strict custody and visitation timeshare orders continue to place the child with one parent, it may be in the best interest of the child for the parties to agree for the child to be with the other parent if that parent can provide better resources for homeschooling during this time. These issues and new to all of us, and we will continue to work together to bring you the most recent updates as we receive them.