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Factors Considered By Family Courts When Making Education-Related Decisions

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One of the many difficult decisions that divorcing parents face is where their child will go to school. Often, parents are able to reach an agreement on this issue, whether they decide to keep their child in the same school, remain in the school district, but change schools, or move to another district entirely. This is not, however, always possible, in which case, a court will step in and, after assessing a number of different factors, make this decision on the parents’ behalf. These deliberations will differ depending on the specific facts of the case, but there are a few factors that family courts usually take into account when making these determinations. To learn more about how these decisions are made, or for help attempting to negotiate an agreement with your partner in an out-of-court setting, please reach out to an experienced Fort Lauderdale shared parental responsibility lawyer in your area today.

The Wishes of the Parent

Before anything else, courts who are tasked with deciding where a child will attend school following a divorce will listen to each parent’s opinion on the issue. Both parents’ arguments will be closely analyzed and courts will assess whether there is evidence to support either recommendation, whether either party has conducted research into the matter, and the parents’ motives in making their decision.

The Wishes of the Child

The wishes of a child will also often be considered when determining where he or she will go to school. These wishes are not, however, usually the final say, although more weight will generally be given to older children who are able to fully grasp the importance of the decision.

The Child’s Relationships at His or Her Current School

The relationships that a child has at his or her current school will also play a role in a court’s determination on whether he or she stays at that school or is enrolled somewhere else. A child with a history of behavioral problems, for instance, may benefit from a change in environment. On the other hand, it could be beneficial for a child who has attended a school for many years and has established relationships with other students and teachers, to remain in a familiar environment, especially in light of the many changes that he or she will be undergoing at home following the divorce.

The Child’s Educational Needs and Performance

A child’s educational needs is one of the foremost factors assessed by courts when determining whether a child should change schools after his or her parents’ divorce. Evidence that a current school isn’t meeting a child’s needs, for instance, would be considered strong evidence that a move would be beneficial. Another school’s differing curriculum, smaller class size, additional access to tutoring, or specialized learning could weigh strongly in the argument to send a child to a  different school. School records, including evidence of a child’s previous grades, interests, and unique learning needs will play an important role in this analysis.

Call a Fort Lauderdale Shared Parental Responsibility Attorney for Assistance

We understand the importance of school choice for your child. For help determining where your own child will attend school after your divorce, please contact Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. today. You can call us at 954-945-7591 or contact us online.

Source:

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0061/Sections/0061.13.html

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