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Educational Decisions

Legal Custody Area

Education Decision Making for Children in Divorce

What is Educational Decision-Making in the Context of a Divorce?

As children spend almost all of their formative years in school or otherwise receiving structured education, decisions concerning education are often the most impactful and consequential decisions parents may make for their children. In terms of legal custody, the parent with final decision making for education has the ultimate authority to make a final decision when the parties disagree.

Scenarios for Educational Decision-Making


Example Educational Decisions Making Decisions: Choice of Schools

Choice of Schools

Perhaps the most discussed area of education decision-making in a divorce is the area of school choice.  Public school or private? Homeschooled or traditional classroom?  In school districts with options of which school to attend (including magnet schools), making the final decision regarding what school is best for your child.  
Example Educational Decisions Making Decisions: What grade level

What Grade Level?

Sometimes parents are faced with the decision to hold a child back a year in school.  For others, there is the decision as to whether to allow a child to skip a grade.  These types of gut-wrenching decisions are difficult enough for married couples, for divorced parents they can be extremely difficult.  
Example Educational Decisions Making Decisions: Courses of Study

Course of Study

Advanced placement? What electives (such as health, sex education, or industrial technologies) a child may take are additional decisions that can fall under educational decision-making.

Practice Pointer

In order to address concerns about final decision-making authority being granted to another parent for educational purposes, limits could be put into place.  For example, the parties could agree that private school will continue at "XYZ school" unless both parties agree to make a change.

Rights BOTH parents have in Relation to Educational Information about their Child

Rights BOTH parents have in Relation to Educational Information about their Child

Regardless of who is the final educational decision-maker, unless the court orders otherwise, BOTH parents have the right to receive all notices regarding their child's academic performance and attend all parent-teacher conferences.

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