Changing your children's school district.
01. Family Law
Changing your children's school district.
News flash: divorced parents do not always agree about what is best for their children. Some disagreements about parenting are minor and can be resoled with a little bit of willingness to compromise, while other disagreements cannot be resolved without a Court's intervention. One issue that we see regularly that often requires a Court to intervene is the issue of where the children are going to go to school, and/or, when a parent wants to change the children's school.
If parents can agree on a school district or a change of schools amongst themselves then the Judge can stay out of the picture. If the parents do not agree, and they share joint legal custody, one parent cannot change the children's school district without the permission of the Court. In other words, a motion to establish/change school districts must be filed with the Court.
Motions to change school districts are not as simple as they would appear to be. Often times these motions are filed when one parent moves to a different school district, and depending on how far away the parent is moving, it may become impossible to maintain the same parenting time schedule which may cause the Court to decide that the change of school would alter the children's "established custodial environment," which would then change the burden of proof that a parent must meet to win their motion. If the change would not alter the children's established custodial environment (assuming the parents share joint legal custody), then the Court would look to the best interests of the child factors relevant to the school issue and decide if the factors favor the school change. If the change would alter the established custodial environment, then the moving party must show by clear and convincing evidence that the change of school would be in the children's best interests, which is a much more difficult burden to meet.
There are several moving parts in these types of motions that often times complicate the issue. We have argued, and won, many of these types of motions. If you are considering changing your children's school and anticipate resistance from the other parent, give us a call to set up a free consultation. We would be happy to sit down with you and let you know what to expect, and, your odds of getting a favorable decision.
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