Back to school is always a busy time of year for families. Parents going through separation or divorce already deal with added complications around handling school days. However, Covid-19 has changed everything for all of us. Now, separated or divorced parents sharing custody of their children face a new set of challenges as school begins again.
Most Georgia schools are opting for virtual education in the face of Covid-19, but in some cases a variety of options are being offered, and choices will have to be made. Coming to an agreement about which learning environment is best for your child(ren) may involve some negotiation with your ex. As your local family law attorneys, Family Matters Law Group is here to help you navigate custody, visitation, and how to handle questions about virtual education in the midst of this unprecedented time.
How will you decide what’s best for your child(ren)? If your child’s school has decided to hold classes in person it may be tempting to just pretend that it’s back to business as usual. After sheltering in place at home, you may be beyond ready for a break. Before jumping to conclusions about whether to send your kids back to school in person, the best thing to do is gather information from your local school system, the local department of health, and also follow the guidelines set forth by health officials, scientists, and your local government.
We already have some evidence of how risky in-person classes are. Cherokee County schools that opened for in-person classes in August 2020 were forced to shut down within one week due to huge spikes in Covid-19 cases among students. Clearly, Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere any time soon and we have to dig in and prepare for the long haul.
If you’ve come to the conclusion that virtual education is the safest option for your child(ren), what should you do if your ex disagrees? Or vice versa; if you disagree with them on how to handle the new school year. Calling a meeting with both your attorneys present may be necessary. Exploring mediation before addressing a matter in court may be the wisest, and least stressful, option for all concerned.
It’s a challenge to juggle home responsibilities, work, and managing your child(ren) attending school at home. Suddenly their classroom is the kitchen table or the living room couch. You may be one of the fortunate people that can work from home, but that still means doing double duty as you’ve been suddenly thrust into the role of teacher’s assistant. On the other hand, if you’re an essential worker, you won’t be able to stay home to supervise your kids' school day.
You might be one of the people who have been hit hard by the economic downturn due to Covid-19, so you may be facing financial stress while trying to handle a completely new reality with your kids. No matter what your circumstances, you’re likely dealing with an all-new set of parameters in your home life. What can you do to manage, stay afloat, and make sure that your kids are still learning what they need to, in order for them to be prepared to continue their education after Covid-19?
One way you can keep your sanity if working from home while your kids are in class from home, is to try to set up separate areas. This will help create some boundaries between your work and their classroom, and between both of your work zones and the rest of your home. Setting schedules is another way to create some boundaries to define their day and yours. Plan recess times that you can spend together to break up the monotony of days spent in the house. Take a walk around the block with your kids, have lunch together, do some yoga or simple stretches together, take some deep breaths, and shake out your tension.
If you need an attorney in Henry County or the Atlanta area to provide more support in navigating co-parenting through distance learning with your kids, a legal consultation about your rights when it comes to negotiating who gets to decide what’s best for your kids’ education, and reaching an agreement on their safety and well-being with your ex for this school year, we’re here to guide you through the process.
Whether you’re going through separation or divorce, you’re striving to reach a new normal with your children, or having to deal with your ex and manage co-parenting, you may require some extra help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance with any of your concerns. Despite the challenges you’re facing right now, co-parenting in perilous times, we know that you will find ways to support your kids through this. In turn, we’re here to support you.