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Who decides if virtual school is right for kids post-divorce?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Child Custody |

Virtual school classes have been an option for years. Many parents in Indiana have remained reasonably skeptical about the idea of having their children attend remote classes. After the widespread adoption of virtual classes in recent years, people have become more accepting of the idea that virtual schooling can work for many children.

Those with health challenges and those enduring bullying are among the students who might benefit from attending a virtual school from the comfort of their own homes. The downside of such arrangements is often reduced academic performance. It is common for parents to disagree about what schools their children attend, especially when one thinks that a less traditional option, like virtual schooling, might be the best solution.

When adults share custody in Indiana, which parent decides if a child can start attending virtual school?

Parents often share decision-making authority

Custody arrangements in Indiana often include instructions mandating that parents share both time with the children and decision-making authority. Either parent may have the authority to make an emergency decision during their parenting time. However, decisions that have longer-lasting and broader-reaching implications typically require mutual agreement between the parents. In a scenario where one parent embraces the idea of having a child attend virtual classes while the other opposes that idea, parents may need to sit down and discuss the matter at length.

In scenarios where the adults truly cannot reach an amicable resolution to a disagreement about key parenting decisions, they may need to go back to family court. A family law judge in Indiana can rule on specific matters or even reallocate the division of decision-making authority so that one parent can make certain choices in the future without needing to go back to court.

In any litigated matter related to parental rights and responsibilities, the focus is on the best interests of the child. If a judge agrees that social issues, medical concerns or other factors would make virtual education the best option for a minor, they may approve the request to transition the child away from traditional schooling.

Other times, they might agree with the parent who opposes that change and agree that the child should continue to intend in-person instruction if possible. Parents preparing to litigate major decision-making matters often need to present their case very carefully if they hope to convince a judge that their perspective is the right one.

Understanding what influences custody decisions, and when modifications to current orders may be necessary, can help Indiana parents navigate the challenges of shared custody. Parents who know their rights and who keep the focus on what is best for their children may have an easier time settling disagreements about schooling and other key parenting matters.