COVID-19 abruptly ended daycare, classes, and extra-curricular activities for many children last spring but now we are rapidly approaching the new school year. After months of social distancing, parents are now faced with serious concerns as their children return to school during this uncertain time. The primary concern is how parents should best protect the safety, health, and well-being of their children returning school. This concern could be magnified if children reside in separate households during the school year. In a perfect world, all parents and co-parents work in harmony to make mutually agreeable decisions regarding their children. However, what if one co-parent cannot agree with the other co-parent on issues surrounding their child or children’s return to school at this time?
The majority of divorced parents or co-parents who are subject to a court order have joint legal custody of their children. Specifically, each parent has an equal right to make decisions about their children’s education. In rare instances, one parent might have sole legal custody of the children. This parent would have complete discretion to make decisions related to the children’s education.
If you have joint legal custody of your child or children, make an effort to effectively communicate any concerns about returning to school with your co-parent. Try to come to a reasonable understanding and agreement. In the event you are unable to see eye-to-eye with your co-parent, unilaterally refusing to send your child to school may yield adverse legal consequences. You may have the legal right to seek court intervention and request a modification of the governing court order. Please consult with an attorney who specializes in family law to understand your legal options.
If you have any questions or concerns about custody rights pursuant to a decree or court order, please contact one of our skilled attorneys at Simpson Legal Group, LLC, by phone at (712) 256-9899. Don’t take this path alone- let us help guide you through these unprecedented times.