Dealing With School Choice After Divorce

Posted on: 29 May 2018

Education is one of the best gifts parents can give to their children, but divorcing couples aren't always in agreement on how to give their kids this gift. For example, one parent may favor one school over another. If the issue ends up in court, these are the factors it will consider when ruling on the issue.

How Close the School Is

The court's main interest is to look out for the welfare of the child, and this is why the proximity of the schools in question comes into play. Other factors held constant; it will be easy for the court to rule in favor of the nearby school to save the child some commute time each morning. This means the school's proximity will be evaluated with the home where the child spends most of their schooldays acting as the reference point. 

The Quality of the Schools

Because school quality plays some role in the educational progress of a child, the court will evaluate and compare the quality of the schools in contention. Major factors considered here are the available facilities, security, location, past performance, and other success indicators of schools. Don't be surprised if the court decides on the better school, especially if the difference between the two is wide.

The Available Extracurricular Activities

Since school is not all about books, the court will also consider the available extracurricular activities and facilities in each of the schools. Here two things matter more than others; the quality of extracurricular activities in each school as well as the personal interests and hobbies of the child. For example, it would not be fair to send the kid to a school without a soccer coach if your kid is into soccer and there is a nearby school with soccer coach and facilities.

Any Special Educational Needs the Kids Have

Lastly, it also matters if your child has special educational needs. This means that the child has more problems with their schoolwork, socialization, and communication issues than other children of the same age range. Such a child may need extra help in the form of tutoring, counseling, and greater attention, among other things. All schools are required to have facilities and personnel to help kids with special needs, but due to the uneven distribution of resources, it isn't surprising that some schools are better equipped to help such kids than others.

Just like other divorce issues, the ideal thing is to negotiate and reach an agreement with the other parent outside the courtroom. However, you shouldn't hesitate to go to court if you believe your choice of school is the best for your kid and the other parent doesn't see it that way.

For more information, contact a law office like McKone & Unruh.