Again To College Throughout COVID

Our Seattle custody attorneys explain the impact of schooling during a pandemic

With the end of summer, school comes back. Aside from the fact that for many this year, back to school is NOT the usual – many, if not most, students in Washington will – for the time being – study from home. I no longer have a child in school so I don’t know exactly what this will be like, but it is clear that it will ask a lot more of the parents.

At the very least, it means more supervisory time, which takes time away from other things like employment. It also likely means that you need to be more involved in the learning process itself so that your children can navigate online lessons successfully.

Custody Considerations During Coronavirus

For some divorced couples, this may mean having to work together to share the extra work that comes with the kids who are back in school. This can take the form of adapting the education plans to working hours and school hours. Many parenting plans leave the children with one parent during the school week while the other parent usually sees the children on weekends. However, the increased demands on home learning can mean that school week time may have to be split up so that each parent can meet their work commitments.

If you find yourself in this situation, it is important that you have something in writing that reflects the new schedule and the fact that it is only a temporary change (indicate when it will end, such as when the children can start going to school in person). Without a clear statement that the change is temporary and of limited duration, a court could later determine that the change in parenting plans warrants a permanent change in parenting plan to reflect the new schedule. Our Seattle custody attorneys know these challenges and are available to help you create a new plan.

COVID-19 and child benefit

If the change in parenting responsibilities is significant, it may also be important to consider whether there should also be temporary changes in child support. Please note, however, that any changes to child benefit will require a court order to be enforceable to reflect the changes.

Let our Seattle family lawyers help you navigate the “new normal” for parents

If the two of you are struggling to come to an agreement on how to do distance learning, consider mediation to help resolve issues. We have mediators at Seattle Divorce Services, or we can refer you to outside mediators if you work with one of our lawyers. (We cannot be both your lawyer and your mediator – that would be a conflict of interest.)

If you need to discuss any questions about the parenting plan, call us at 206-784-2039 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our lawyers. Please note that due to COVID, all customer meetings are currently conducted by phone or zoom to protect you and our employees.

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