Kids Are Going Back to School Full-Time: Does Your Custody or Visitation Agreement Need to Change?

Kids Are Going Back to School Full-Time: Does Your Custody or Visitation Agreement Need to Change?

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, many kids have been forced to go to Zoom school. Now that health authorities have learned to deal with the disease, children are now going back to school full-time, and you’re wondering: Does your custody or visitation agreement need to change?

Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC in Houston, Texas are certified in mediation, take a collaborative approach with their clients to ensure that their clients reach solutions that work for their families, and are devoted entirely to the practice of family law. We are fierce advocates for our clients and we’d be happy to assist you with child custody and visitation issues you may be facing. Reach out to us today for an initial consultation.

Co-Parenting During the Pandemic

The pandemic posed many problems for parents. Dealing with a co-parenting situation, in which both parents have custody, or perhaps one parent has custody and the other has visitation rights, were made much more complicated due to Covid’s challenges.

For instance, let’s say two parents shared custody of a child whose school was on Zoom. If one of them had to go to work and couldn’t watch their child during the day, the other one might have had more responsibilities because they had to supervise their child instead.

Maybe a child’s school did not shut down, but both parents who had joint custody agreed it would be safer if they kept their child home and homeschooled them.

Other issues could have come into play. One parent might not have had strong wifi in their home, and they couldn’t fully accommodate their child’s Zoom schooling. In another scenario, one parent may have been working closely with the public and more susceptible to spreading the virus, so they didn’t want to be around their child in an indoor setting. If one of the parents is immunocompromised or older, that could complicate everything further.

Additionally, if one parent didn’t want the other parent to have visitation rights – perhaps because the other parent didn’t take the proper precautions when it came to Covid – that could present other issues.

Now that schools are back in session, co-parents will be faced with even more questions they have to figure out the answers to before making any decisions for their child.

Changing a Custody or Visitation Agreement

 If your situation – or your co-parent’s situation has changed – now that your child is back in school full-time, then you may have to update your custody or visitation agreement.

For example, you might have been able to work at home during the worst times of the pandemic and supervise your child while they were in Zoom school. Now, however, you’re back in the office working nine or 10-hour days and can’t drop off and pick your child up from school. You could look into changing your custody agreement so that your co-parent has your child during the week and you have them on the weekend.

Another option is to hire a nanny who could do drop-offs and pickups and watch your child when you aren’t able to if you don’t want to modify your agreement. Or, you could arrange a carpool with other parents, or ask your employer if you could work at home a few hours per day. That way, you could still get mornings and evenings with your child during the week.

You may have changed your custody or visitation agreement during the pandemic to give your co-parent more time with your child since they weren’t working, or they could work from home. Now, you can look into modifying it because circumstances have changed.

No matter what co-parenting problems you had to navigate throughout this crisis, you can reach out to a child custody attorney to help you change your custody or visitation agreement. You’ll need to file a modification case with the court, where the judge will either accept or reject your change. Keep in mind that either parent is able to file a modification case.

Tips for Changing Your Order

Before you officially file to change your order with the court and the judge approves it, you must stick to your current custody and visitation agreement. Even if you and your co-parent agree on the changes, it could reflect poorly on you in court and complicate matters if you both decide to do whatever you think is best without a legal agreement in place. Of course, if you’re paying child support, make sure you keep up with payments and turn them in on time. Though you can file a modification case on your own, it’s best to ask for advice from your child custody attorney on what to do.

It’s critical to support your child as much as possible at this time, whether you have custody or visitation rights. It could be tough for them to adjust going back to school full-time, especially if things are different in the classroom now. For example, they may have to wear a mask all day, which they find uncomfortable. You could explain the value of wearing a mask to them and tell them you’re there for them if they need anything.

It’s also important to be flexible during this time. If a student in your child’s school gets Covid, your child may have to stay home and quarantine for a week or two before being allowed to go back into the classroom. Being open with your employer about these challenges and asking them for accommodations is going to make all the difference. If you show the judge that you’ve been flexible throughout the pandemic and doing what’s best for your child, then they will be more likely to look at you favorably. This could help when it comes to changing your custody or visitation agreement.

This is a tumultuous time for parents everywhere, so keep in mind that you’re not alone. If you ever need support or have questions, you can contact a child custody attorney for assistance.

Contact Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC

If you need help with child custody and visitation issues, you can reach out to Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC for help. We’ll be your source of support in your time of need. Make sure you get in touch online or by calling us at (713) 333-4430. We look forward to hearing from you soon and assisting you.