Which Parent Gets to Decide Where a Child Goes to School after Divorce?

A child custody attorney Scottsdale will help you to understand the parenting issues that can arise when two parents are raising kids separately after a divorce or relationship breakdown. While there are many different issues to address when deciding how your kids should be parented outside of the traditional nuclear family arrangement, one of the most important decisions to make is the choice of what will happen in regards to important decisions in your child’s life. For example, you need to understand who makes the decision on things like where your child will attend school. 

If you want to have a say in where your child goes to school and in other issues of pivotal importance during your child’s upbringing, you will need to make a solid argument for your involvement at the time when you negotiate on parenting time and custody. A child custody attorney Scottsdale can help., Singer Pistiner, P.C. has assisted many parents in making sure they can stay involved in their children’s lives. Give us a call now to find out how we can help you.

Who Decides Where Kids Go to School After Divorce?

A parent who has legal custody of a child is the one who gets to decide where the child will attend school. Legal custody, or legal decision making, is different from physical custody. A parent with physical custody takes care of the child and has the child in his or her home. A parent with legal custody has the authority to decide on things like education, medical care, religion, and other important issues.

The same parent could have both physical and legal custody (this is a common arrangement). In some cases, however, both parents will end up sharing legal custody, regardless of how much physical time each parent spends with the child. For example, if a custody arrangement or parenting time agreement allows a mother to see a child only on every other weekend, the father would have primary custody in this situation. However, both the father and the mother could share legal custody, which would give mom a say in what happens to the child even though she may not be spending a lot of time with the child.

It is best if parents could work together to decide who should have legal custody (and physical custody). If parents cannot compromise, a court becomes involved. Arizona Code section 25-403 provides details on how the court should decide on legal custody. The court will consider what is in the child’s best interests when it comes to giving one or both parents authority to make decisions on behalf of the child.

Once a parent has legal custody, either because the court ordered it or the parents agreed, that parent can decide where a child will attend school, and can make other necessary decisions about a child’s upbringing. If parents share legal custody of the child, then the parents will need to work together in order to make their decisions.

What if Parents Cannot Come to an Agreement?

If both parents have legal custody and they cannot agree on an issue like where a child should go to school, the parents will need to try to work out a compromise. If they are not able to come to a consensus on their own, they can turn to a mediator to help them discuss and negotiate on the issue. As a last resort, parents may need to go to court if they both have legal custody and cannot come to a consensus.

If only one parent has legal custody, it does not matter if the parents do not agree on where a child attends school- the parent with legal custody simply makes the choice.

How can a Child Custody Attorney Scottsdale Help?

The decision on where your kids will attend school is just one of many important choices that must be made during your child’s upbringing. You owe it to yourself and your kids to make sure you have a say in where they are educated and how they are raised.

A child custody attorney Scottsdale will work hard to help ensure you have the ability to make your opinion heard. To find out more about how we can help you to argue for legal custody or parenting time, give us a call at (480) 418-7011 or contact us online. You can also download our free Divorce Guide to find out more about the ways in which we assist you in fighting to stay involved in the life of your child after a separation or a divorce.


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