One of the most difficult decisions to make following a divorce is where your child will continue to go to school. Because it can greatly impact their future, the argument over where your child will attend school may seem like the most bitter of the divorce.
Here are a few significant factors considered for school choice in family court:
- Wishes of the Parents
First and foremost, the wishes of each parent will be heard and considered. Then, the argument of each parent will be closely analyzed. Is one spouse disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing? Has any research been conducted by either parent? Is there evidence to support their recommendation? If one parent is lacking in this department, the choice could quickly swing toward the other parent’s school choice.
- Wishes of the Child
As in some custody battles, the wishes of the child will be considered when determining where he or she will go to school. However, these wishes are not the final say — as it can be challenging for a child to fully grasp the importance of where an education is received. The older the child, the more seriously an opinion will be considered.
- Relationships at Current School
The relationships your child has at his or her current school will factor into whether he or she will be allowed to stay. If your child has negative relationships with friends or teachers, it may be important to consider another educational environment. If your child has positive relationships at your school of choice, it is essential to highlight these relationships in your argument.
- Educational Needs
If you are seeking a change of school, it may be helpful to demonstrate that your child’s current school is not meeting your educational needs. Does your child have a preference in where, how and when learning takes place? How well does your school choice meet these preferences?
- Teacher Qualifications
Believe it or not, close arguments over school choice may boil down to the qualifications of individual teachers. How experienced are the staff members at your child’s current school? Which school has better reviews and rankings? Because the quality of education is so important, especially when comparing schools to each other, this factor can be crucial.
- Child Performance
Many arguments about school choice will center on how your child is performing in their current school environment. Be prepared to go through report cards, extracurricular activities and staff recommendations to determine whether your child is thriving. If not, the court may decide to give your child a fresh start at a different school.
- Special Needs or Medical Conditions
In cases where a child has special needs or requires accommodations for medical conditions, the willingness and ability of each school to meet these requirements could make or break your case.
Call Our West Palm Beach Child Custody Attorney for Assistance
At The Law Office of Eric C. Cheshire P.A. P.A., we understand the importance of school choice for your child. For assistance on your child custody case, contact our West Palm Beach child custody lawyer. You can call us at (561) 677-8090 or contact us online.