The COVID-19 shutdowns have been paired with Spring Break which has created complicated questions about custody and when and how to exchange children. Most Florida parenting plans address Spring Break as a separate holiday time sharing period and define Spring break as beginning the day before school releases for the break and ending on the day school resumes.
When does “school resume?”
The school calendars are usually where to find the answer, but the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) has officially declared the extra week as an extension by calling March 30, 2020 the official end of Spring Break for all Florida School Districts. http://www.fldoe.org/em-response/index.stml. This has created a legal question that has yet to have been answered. Some parents returned children when school was supposed to resume while others have argued that the break was extended.
FDOE also indicated that distance-learning should begin for all schools between March 30 and April 15.
Does that mean “school resumes” when distance-learning begins?
Again, there are no clear answers because Courts haven’t ruled on the issue. It is advisable to those with this type of language to first discuss it with the other parent and try to work it out based on the best interest of the children and not the individual desires of the parent.
Each situation is unique, but the goal should be for the parents to agree on a plan that minimizes the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on children with regard to health, safety, and respect for the rights of the children to have time with both parents.
It takes two people to agree and if you can’t and your parenting plan doesn’t have the solution, you should consult an attorney who can help you address the issue in Court. Call Buckmaster & Ellzey now to discuss your case.