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Importance of advising schools about custody agreements

After going through a divorce, it is important to advise your child's school about your custody arrangement, particularly if the custody battle was acrimonious or if one parent is only allowed to see the child under certain conditions. As an example of what can happen if caution is not taken, a 12-year-old girl was recently taken out of school by her mother. Deputies: Abducted 12-year-old girl found in Georgia when mother ran out of gas,, March 18, 2017. Apparently, the mother is not the custodial parent and did not have authority to remove the child from school, but the child was released to her nonetheless. The mother is now in custody on federal child abduction charges.

While this is an extreme story, it can happen if schools do not know that one parent has lost custodial rights, or even legal rights, to their child. If you have gone through a divorce and there are ongoing custody/visitation issues, here are some tips to keep your child safe:

Advise your child's school about the custody arrangement. Give them a copy of the order showing when each parent can pick up the child.
Update any forms that indicate who is authorized to pick your child up from school. Often, a school will assume that either parent can pick the child up. If this is not the case, make sure to clearly write that on the form and speak to the school administration to make sure they understand that the child is not to be released to the other parent, if applicable.

Consider whether you need to revoke any photo release signed on behalf of your child. Most schools will have you sign this at the beginning of the school year so they are authorized to post information and pictures in school newspapers, websites and/or social media. However, if you are dealing with a situation where your ex does not know where you and your child are, you need to make sure that information does not get accidentally shared in a placed where he/she can see it.

Repeat the above for any extracurricular activities.
Make sure your child's friend's parents also understand the custodial situation. You do not need to share the details but, if one parent is not supposed to be around the child, you need to let them know so they can make sure it doesn't happen on their watch.


Child Custody
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