It is back to school time and parents should be prepared to understand their rights and responsibilities as it relates to custody. Most custodial agreements provide for shared legal custody. As a result, both parents not only have a right to participate in school selection, but they have a right to all school related information, attend all school functions including activities and parent/teacher meetings.
If the parties cannot reach an agreement on school selection, they may need to file a petition with the court before enrolling their child(ren) in school. Additionally, each parent should directly contact the school to confirm both the teachers and administration have updated contact information and are aware the child(ren) is living in two separate households so that information is mailed or emailed directly to both parents simultaneously.
When special issues arise such as the need for evaluations or an Individualized Educational Plan or IEP, both parents are entitled to notice of the meeting, to attend all team meetings and confirm whether the proposed educational plan will meet the child’s learning needs.
Finally, transportation should be confirmed for each parent’s home or if the child(ren) are not living in the same school district, transportation should be discussed between both parents so there is consistency in the pick-up and drop-off. Overall, there are many custodial decisions relating to school and parents need to first reference their custodial agreement and implement the terms well in advance of school starting.
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