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Changing School Districts During or After a Divorce

Couples have to decide a myriad of issues during and after the divorce process. Prior to the finalization of the divorce, child custody, child visitation, child support and the division of marital assets are all up for debate. As it relates to issues concerning children, parents are often tasked with coming to an agreement on specific child-related issues such as which medical provider the child will see, what religion the child will practice, approved extra-curricular activities and which school district the child will attend. If the custodial parent is remaining in the marital residence this issue of changing school districts rarely comes up. However, sometimes the custodial parent moves out of the marital residence and hence, facilitating the need for the child to attend a different school.

Often times the authority to decide these specific issues related to raising your child will depend on the type of custody awarded. For instance, most parents share in some form of joint custody in which each parent shares time with their child in their respective residences. However, one of the parents will typically be considered as the primary custodian and will have legal custody over the child. In this instance, the parent who has legal custody of the child has the authority to make a wide range of decisions about how the child will live, including which school district they will attend. One caveat to this rule is that the court could deviate during the litigation phase of the divorce process and give authority to the other parent. Another consideration is when a custodial parent intends to move away to a different state or a significant distance away from the non-custodial parent. In this instance, most final orders from the court will require the custodial parent to give the other parent notice of their intent to relocate.

Regardless of the context of the decision to move a child into a different school district, if the issue is reviewed the court will consider what is in the best interests of the child. Considerations such as the purpose for the move and the child’s ties to the current school are all valid factors before the court in this scenario. If you are facing a desire to move a child to a different district or are contesting an anticipated move it is important to have experienced legal representation to guide you through the process. The Faucette Law Firm, LLC has successfully represented clients in all areas of family and divorce law including child custody, child support, contested and uncontested divorce, legitimation, modifications and spousal support. Contact our law firm today for a consultation.