Challenges for Divorced Parents with a School Year During COVID-19

Following a divorce, most parents in Florida will share parental responsibility. This is another term for legal custody, which refers to the authority to make important decisions for your child’s life, such as regarding healthcare and education. Parents should have a parenting plan that details how they will make important decisions as they arise in their child’s life.

However, there is no way that parents divorced prior to February 2020 could have predicted the situation we are in with the COVID-19 crisis and related adjustments to everyday life. The parenting plan likely does not have clear guidance about how to share decision-making in a pandemic, and it is natural that some divorced parents are struggling to cooperate, especially now that the school year has started.

The following are only some of many possible sticking points between parents this fall. If you and your spouse are in constant conflict over such matters, you should not wait to contact a Tampa family law attorney.

Education Decisions

Schools are setting out a variety of options for parents for the 2020-21 school year. Some situations that parents might face include:

  • Schools are having full-time, in-person classes
  • Schools are holding all classes virtually
  • Schools might have a hybrid system of certain days in-person and certain days virtual
  • Parents might be able to decide whether their children will attend in-person or virtually

To complicate matters, if parents do not like the options presented by their child’s school, they might opt to switch to a private school that suits their wishes. Some parents are pulling their children from the school system entirely for the year and having their child homeschooled by a tutor. Even if a child is learning virtually, they might do so alone at home or as part of a learning “pod.”

As you can see, there are many options for the current school year, and it is not surprising that some divorced parents are having a difficult time agreeing what is best for their child.

Health and Safety

Even if your child has a set school schedule, there are still other issues that parents can disagree on. For example, one parent might believe that it is necessary for the child’s health and safety to wear a mask to school and when in close proximity with others. The other parent might disagree that masks are needed and might try to convince the child of the same. This is a common dispute, and a child should not be put in the middle of the situation.

Parents might also disagree on the following issues and more:

  • Should the child be able to hang out with friends outside of school?
  • Is the child allowed to play team sports or engage in group activities?
  • Should the child’s exposure to restaurants, stores, and other establishments be limited?

All of these issues raise the potential for conflict between divorced parents.

Contact a Tampa Parenting Plan Attorney for Help

The Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez, P.A., knows this is a difficult time for parents sharing parental responsibilities, and we are here to help. Call 813-227-9642 or contact us online for more information today.