The school year is well underway and often, can be a time of high conflict between you and your ex. Divorced parents commonly share joint legal custody and as such, they must share in the decision making process when it comes to educational issues. Given the ups and downs most children face throughout the school year, parents, divorced or not, may also have their own set of challenges.
When I work with clients in my Woodbridge office, we review all issues affecting children, and even spend time on school related issues if necessary. When it comes to decision making regarding school specific issues, divorced parents need to communicate with each other and hopefully reach an agreement. If they cannot, then they end up back in Court, asking the Judge to determine what is in their child’s best interests.
Here are some examples of issues that tend to arise, though there are many more:
- Generally, it is decided in the settlement agreement, where the child will live during the school year and which school she or he will attend. If circumstances change, one parent may wish to move and or change the school.
- Some parents may have different expectations for their child’s school performance. One may be more demanding than the other, or have higher expectations. As a result, that parent may want to hire tutors or discipline for low grades. If the child is having difficulty in school as a result of a learning disability or other issue, one parent may want to hire a psychologist or create an Individualized Education Program (IEP), and the other parent may not acknowledge that there is even an issue.
- Sometimes, the child may have behavioral issues in school, that require parental attention and action. Some parents disagree as to what to do in this regard.
If you and your divorced spouse have a child in school and are having difficulty reaching a consensus on what should be done about their educational issues, contact our office so we can talk about the situation, your options and how to best protect your interests, as well as your child’s interests.
Remember, in addition to your unconditional love, there is no greater gift you can give to your children than a peaceful life. No matter how difficult it can be for you after your divorce, do your best, and make sure to get the best legal advice possible when navigating the issues facing your child’s education.