There are sharp disagreements among Americans about the potential harm COVID-19 poses and what to do about it. That includes parents disagreeing about whether and how their children should attend school.
If school issues related to COVID are complicating your shared parenting or custody agreement, it’s time to discuss your options with an experienced Ohio family law attorney.
At Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA, we are fixtures in the Ohio community, know the struggles of parents in the areas, and can help find a legal solution that protects your child’s health and right to an education.
Custody Disputes Over School Closures and Choices
The issue of decision-making rights over the child will be part of a divorce or a court order concerning the rights of unmarried parents. Typically these rights are shared, but one parent may exclusively have those rights (while the other would usually still get time with the child).
A parent with exclusive decision-making rights over a child can ultimately decide where a child attends school and make major medical, religious, and legal decisions. If the parents share those rights, and can’t agree, the decision would be made by a judge.
Pandemic School Options & Disagreements
Parents may be facing various school choices in the wake of COVID:
- In-person classes with precautions to limit the spread of the virus
- A hybrid combination of in-school learning and online lessons
- Online classes only
Many parents who share custody may live in different towns, with different approaches taken by their public schools. Public schools where they live may be partially or all online while private schools have all their classes in-person.
This can understandably result in disagreement about what’s best for the child. And while each approach has plusses and minuses, parents may have very strong opinions about what’s the right thing to do.
Should I Take this to Family Court?
Disagreements about custody and school decision rights often lead people to family court. But if it ends up before a judge, the court will decide what’s in the child’s best interests. This can become a contentious and complicated legal argument, best handled by a family lawyer.
Issues that may be involved include:
- Does the child suffer from health conditions that could make an infection more dangerous?
- Does the child have special needs that may educational progress at home more difficult?
- Are the parents or other family members at greater risk of COVID-19 complications?
- Does one parent want the child to attend in-person classes at a religious school while the other parent objects to religious indoctrination?
- Is a parent with visitation rights trying to have the child attend a school with a different approach?
- Does the child disagree with the parent with sole decision-making rights and agree with the other parent?
We Can Help You With School Placement Custody Issues
If you and the other parent can’t reach an agreement, contact our office. We have handled many cases where parents conflict. Resolutions can be made by working with the other parent’s attorney or a mediator. If an agreement isn’t reached, we will go to court to protect your rights and seek the best interests of your child.
At Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA, we understand it’s important to review your case carefully as we consider the next steps. It’s our responsibility and duty to provide the support you need and the personal service you want to overcome difficult family matters.