school and covid

Co-Parenting Choices: Masks & Back to School

The spread of germs is inevitable in any grade-school setting, but with the COVID-19 Delta variant surging and many of the country’s pediatric ICUs running out of space, what do you do if you’re in a dispute with your ex-spouse regarding masking up for school? Co-parenting decisions can be dicey in any context, but COVID-19 has underscored what is important to one parent may not be as concerning to another. It can be frustrating to find yourself in this situation in determining what you should do for your children, especially those under age 12 who are, as of August 2021, ineligible for vaccines.

Although Texas state law has banned mask mandates and many parents feel strongly one way or the other about the necessity of mask-wearing for their children. A lawyer can rarely intervene and legally enforce your ex-spouse to make your children wear masks to school, though. If you truly believe your children should wear a mask, you should speak with your co-parent about that. They might not agree with you no matter what you say, no matter how much you beat them over the head with statistics or CDC recommendations.

So, what do you do?

As co-parents, it is your responsibility to have a united front in protecting and disciplining your children, as well as determining what is in their best interests. You should speak with your co-parent, first and foremost, before pursuing a family court order against your co-parent for acting in, as you see it, an irresponsible manner that puts your children in harm’s way. This may be easier to litigate if your child has a health condition that impairs their immune system.

When co-parenting, you should balance the risks and rewards of joint decisions you make. Although it’s tricky to determine what to do in unprecedented times like a pandemic, you can and should attempt to make decisions jointly before jumping to litigation. If you cannot come to a mutual agreement, you could reach out to your co-parenting counselor for advice on how to move forward.

For legal help with your divorce, please contact the Hembree Bell Law Firm, PLLC at (512) 768-9737 today.

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