As children prepare to enter a new school year during a pandemic, co-parents may want to address issues of children’s holiday schedules and school breaks before the school year begins. With it being the new normal for students to attend the bulk of their classes online, it is important for parents to agree on socialization obstacles with the Covid-19 virus when children have breaks from school. Parents may also wish to benefit from children’s ability to learn from anywhere and agree to added parenting time for a co-parent during the school year.
Parents may want to determine rules for students’ interactions during breaks from school. Students will experience far less time with friends during the school year due to minimized in-person learning as well as very few extracurricular activities and sporting events. Children may want to socialize more during time outside of school on nights and weekends and during traditional school breaks to make up for time they would have spent together in school and in school-related activities. Co-parents should discuss their comfort level in allowing children to socialize with peers while still practicing safe social distancing.
Agreements about children’s exposure to family and friends during holiday celebrations may be an additional issue for co-parents. Many custodial arrangements contemplate holidays as a time for children to visit with extended family members and family friends who they are unable to connect with during other parts of the year. Therefore, there may need to be additional communications between co-parents about the location, number of people to be in attendance and amount of space at holiday events. Additionally, if children are unable to visit with at-risk loved ones during the holidays, parents may wish to plan for children to have specific time in the future with this person to preserve the relationship.
Many parents may view online schooling as a means of providing a parent with additional parenting time during the school year. It is common for the distance between parent’s homes to have a major effect on custody arrangements. Some parents may have far less parenting time during the school year as children must maintain a concentrated location to comply with a regular school schedule. The ability for children to access their schoolwork from anywhere through online courses may allow a parent more parenting time as the co-parents mutually agree.
Regardless of the complications of the Covid-19 virus in managing children’s holidays and school breaks, it is critical for parents to make an effort to understand one another’s preferences about their children’s safety. Effective co-parenting during these unprecedented times may allow parents to plan ahead and create schedules that are impossible during a regular school year but beneficial to the children’s well-being even if only for a limited period of time. Contact one of the attorneys at Miller Bowles Cushing P.L.L.C. today if you are a parent who is curious about making adjustments to your child custody schedule to promote your children’s best interests during these unforeseen times.