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Want to switch your kid’s school? Plan a year in advance.

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2022 | Divorce |

You clearly want your child to have the best possible educational experience. You know how valuable that’s going to be for their future and their career.

So, when you feel like the current school isn’t quite meeting all their needs, you might decide that you want to switch them into a different school. If you are married, this process may be fairly straightforward, but things get complicated if you are divorced and co-parenting your child.

The issue is that co-parents don’t always cooperate. If yours does not, then it can take as long as 12 months to switch your child into a new school. So you may not even be thinking about moving them into the new school until the fall of next year, in 2023, but that still means that the time to start the process is now.

Does your co-parent have to agree?

Whether or not your co-parent has to agree depends on the terms of your custody situation. Physical custody refers to where child lives, but this is more of a question of legal custody. If both you and your co-parent have been given legal custody, no matter where your child technically lives, then you both have decision-making power.

If you do have decision making power, then you’re able to make choices for a child who is still a minor. These choices include things like what type of medical treatment they get, who their primary care doctor is and, as you probably guessed, where they go to school.

In some cases, one parent will be given physical custody but not legal custody. Therefore, even if your child does spend some of their time living with your ex, do you want to check who has the decision-making power. If it’s shared, then yes, you and your co-parent have to be able to cooperate and agree on how to modify the custody arrangement and put your child in a different school. If you have sole legal custody, then you may be able to make this decision on your own – but it’s important to note that this is much less common.

Taking the proper steps

Since this process can take so long and is so important, you need to know exactly what legal steps to take.