Schools are reopening and are operating with new changes in the classroom and virtually. Parents must adapt and ready to navigate this new and fluid environment. Aside from preparing for the unknown school year, parents going through a divorce should consider how the changing environment and new way of school will effect their parenting time with their child(ren). Even parents who have parenting plans in place already may want to modify these plans to update them to include terms related specifically to their child(ren)’s daily education.
The following thoughts may be helpful to include in any new or updated divorce agreements and parenting plans:
(1) Whether one or both parents will make the decision if the child(ren) attend school in person or virtually and if optional, for how many days per week. And whether the decision is one for a short period of time or will continue for the entire school year.
(2) If virtual learning, will one or both parents be responsible for/ present to assist with the child(ren)’s learning/ education? (i.e. help them log in online; make sure they understand, do and submit the assignments; etc.)
(3) Will one or both parents be responsible for assisting with homework?
(4) Will one or both parents be able to work from home should the child(ren) have to quarantine or if the school closes? Or will one or both parents hire someone to assist with the child(ren)’s schooling at home while the parents are at work? Will that be someone from the family or will it be an additional cost and if paying the person, which parent or both will be responsible for any additional costs.
(5) Will one or both parents make the decision to change the child(ren) from in school learning to virtual learning? And if virtual learning, will that be for the whole school year or a quarter? Or how often will the decision be considered or changed? Does the child(ren) have any input into the decision?
(6) Will the child(ren) be able to see both parents if the child(ren) or parent(s) are sick or have been exposed to the coronavirus?
(7) Will the child(ren) be able to attend college? Rent an apartment? Stay in a dorm? Will the parents agree to pay the same tuition if online learning at a university rather than in person learning at a college?
While there are a multitude of questions and unknowns in the current pandemic, some issues can be mapped out for the parents and the children so that there are a few less levels of mystery and anxiety for the parents and the children.
Parties willing to discuss and resolve these issues can do so with the help of a mediator. If you seek assistance with preparing or modifying your Parenting Plans, contact Sheree Donath at 516-522-2743 or firstname.lastname@example.org or by clicking here.