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Navigating the Start of the School Year as a Divorced Parent in Northwest Oregon

Published March 24, 2021
Divorced parents face many challenges when deciding how to support their children as they transition back to school in the fall. Now more than ever, disagreements can arise over health and safety concerns, so it’s important to seek professional assistance when you need it.

Making the transition from summer to school each fall can be challenging for both parents and children, especially for divorced parents who may require additional coordination and conversations about how to support their child as they return to the classroom. However, as many school districts across the country are struggling in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, back-to-school plans are more complicated than ever. Whether your child will be learning remotely in the upcoming months or attending school in-person—or participating in a hybrid learning model—parents are looking for guidance and support during this turbulent time. Here are some tips for divorced parents as they navigate the start of the school year, whatever it may look like.

Handling Philosophical Disagreements

If a child’s school is open, one parent may feel comfortable sending the child to school, while the other may wish to keep the child home in order to reduce the potential risk for exposure. If you and your child’s other parent have spent a considerable amount of time discussing whether to send your child to school or keep them home and you still cannot agree, then you may need to consider enlisting outside help. Consult with other parents in your community to learn about their decision-making process, or schedule a virtual appointment with a therapist who can give you some tools to help you communicate more effectively with one another.

Distance Learning and Care Issues

With major school districts like Portland Public School District, Beaverton School District, and North Clackamas School District beginning the school year with distance education, many students will be participating in remote learning in the fall. This means that working parents of younger students may need to become quite creative in order to ensure that their children are supervised and cared for during the school day. So, what happens if your ex has custody of your child for the week, but they do not oversee the completion of your child’s online learning activities? If your child’s other parent refuses to support your child in their online schooling, you may need to pursue a child custody modification to ensure that your child receives the assistance they need during this challenging time.

Additional Safety Concerns

Divorced parents are facing many challenges and uncertainties right now. Perhaps you’re not comfortable with your ex’s relaxed attitude towards safety protocols—they may often have friends over to their house or travel to areas where COVID-19 outbreaks are more active—and you are concerned that your child is at a greater risk of exposure to the virus. If you need help navigating a child custody or visitation issue, it’s a good idea to contact a trusted family law attorney who can help you obtain your desired outcome.


Call Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C. today at (503) 233-8868 to speak with a compassionate and knowledgeable Portland divorce and family law attorney who is committed to helping you achieve your goals.

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