Who gets to choose where our child goes to school?

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2022 | Child Custody

Going through a divorce can be emotional and challenging. When you have children to consider, it can make the process even more stressful.

Often, parents who felt like they were on the same team start to feel like adversaries in the wake of a divorce. Now that it is time for your child to start school, it can be challenging to figure out how to reach an agreement.

Here’s what you should know about choosing a school as a co-parent.

Laying out the options

One of the first challenges with choosing a school for your child is logistics. Adding school for your child often means changing routines for parents. As you think about schools with transportation challenges, you will have to decide how much you like the school and what you are willing to do to make it work.

You and your ex will need to narrow down the list based on your preferences and logistics. If public school is part of your consideration and you live in different districts, those may be part of your considerations, too.

Making the final choice

When parents cannot agree on where to send the child to school, courts will look at what is in the best interest of the child. Often, looking at the child’s best interest will mean looking at the current custody arrangement and which parent will be making the schooling arrangements.

Typically, the parent who has custody during the most school time ends up choosing simply because they are the parent who has to manage the day-to-day tasks of getting to school. However, there can be several factors that could impact which school is  most appropriate, such as:

  • Living in the same neighborhood as schoolmates
  • Cost of private schooling
  • Parent’s ability (and willingness) to pay for private schooling
  • Child’s participation in community activities

While logistics is an important part of the decision, it is not the only factor in determining the best schooling option. It is essential to have an experienced professional help you advocate for what is best for your child.