What Happens When Divorced Parents Disagree on Where to Send Their Child to School?

|November 2, 2023 | Co-parenting

One of the hardest parts about getting divorced and sharing children with your ex-spouse is the decision-making process. It’s common to hit a wall when making decisions for your children together, including where the kids should go to school. Fortunately, a custody attorney can help.

Can Both Parents Make Decisions Regarding a Child’s Education Together?

Making certain choices, such as where your child will attend school, can have a significant impact on your child’s life and future. Therefore, the courts consider whether both parents have the right to make decisions for their children.

Generally, the custody situation between parents determines whether both parents or just one parent are allowed to decide where the child attends school.

If one parent has sole custody, they have both physical and legal custody over their child. Legal custody is the type of custody that gives a parent the right to make life decisions for their child. When a parent has sole custody, they alone are entitled to make decisions for their child.

On the other hand, if parents share custody, this usually means shared physical and legal custody. In a joint custody situation, both parents have a say in their children’s lives.

Before determining who has the right to make decisions regarding a child’s schooling, it’s critical to understand each parent’s rights.

What Happens When There’s a Difference of Opinion Regarding School?

If parents share custody and disagree on where to send their child to school, the court may need to decide.

You can petition the court to act as an intermediary and assist with the decision-making process. It’s important not to wait to ask the court for help, though, as time is of the essence with schooling decisions. You don’t want disagreements between you and your ex to interfere with your child’s education.

What Courts Consider When Making Decisions Concerning a Child’s School

When a court is tasked with making decisions that concern children, they strive to do what is in the child’s best interests. The same goes for educational decisions, as schooling is vital to a child’s life and well-being.

If the child is already in school, the judge will likely favor keeping the child in the school to which they’re already accustomed. Still, they’ll consider how well the child is doing in that school, whether they have friends there, and how far the school is from both parents.

While judges don’t usually put much weight on a child’s opinion, they may if the child is older. Understanding a child’s wishes may help the judge make their decision.

Additionally, judges give both parents the chance to voice their opinions and explain why they do or do not want a child attending a certain school.

Allow a Custody Attorney to Assist You

It can be particularly frustrating to share decision-making rights with your ex. For this reason, you may need some help from the court. A custody attorney can represent your best interests in court to help you reach a positive outcome for you and your child.

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