Are you thinking of changing schools this year? Things to consider if you’re divorced

In July and the summer months we regularly see some people that need to change schools for their kids.

This can be due to the fact that they have moved to a different neighborhood or maybe 40 or 50 miles away from where they were before, making their prior school an impossible commute.

Or perhaps there is a charter school that offers your child a better education.

In Utah, charter schools are popping up everywhere.

You have to wear school uniforms and the curriculum is tougher.  Homework of 45 minutes to an hour and a half is common during the school year.

But what if your ex spouse won’t cooperate in a change of school?  What if mom or dad refuses to let your son or daughter go to the school of your choice?

Well, first step is to look at that divorce decree or custody order.

What? You don’t have one?  Well, you should get one quick.  We just filed for a custody modification order in Richfield Utah for one of our clients today and their first hearing isn’t for another 45+ days!  Yikes.  In Salt Lake City and West Jordan Third District Courts it is about 30 days out (a little quicker for sure) — so you don’t want to wait around.

Depending on what your current court order says, if you can’t get to court, you should follow the child custody court order or decree of divorce.  Anytime there is a signed court order, you can be found in contempt of court if you willfully disobey it – so before you change schools, you should at least consult with your family law attorney before making the change (especially if one of the parent’s doesn’t consent to it).

Now, sometimes there is a provision in the decree or custody order that says someone has the “final say” if there is a dispute.  If you have the final say, you can make the decision, but if you have joint legal custody, you still need to discuss the matter with the other parent before you make your final say decision.  Also, remember that if your decision is going to be reviewed by the court, you want your decision to be found to be in your child’s best interests.

Yes, that “best interests of the child standard” will always be used when reviewing your decisions.

As you consider changing schools or relocating, you should make a pros and cons list – and make sure that the pros outweigh the cons.  Then, keep a copy of that list.  If you ever have to go to court, you can show the judge (or your attorney can show the judge) all of the reasons the change is in your child’s best interests.

When you act on behalf of your child to do the right thing, you’ll never get punished by the court (as a general rule) — I’m sure there might possibly be some rare exception where the court would determine you did not act in the child’s best interests- but if you truly are, you should be just fine.

I can’t tell you how many custody battles we’ve done in court where someone did something that was technically incorrect, but did it with the idea that it was best for their child and no contempt was found and no sanctions levied.

Every case is different and the facts of your case really do matter.  There is no cut and dry in family law, so be sure to review your decisions with a competent lawyer.  If you don’t have one or are unhappy with yours, give our office a call for a free initial consultation.  We’d be happy to help you with your case.

Oh, and you should watch this video about changing schools in Utah if you are considering it.

Thanks for visiting our site.

Are You Thinking Of Changing Schools This Year? Things To Consider If You're Divorced
Are You Thinking Of Changing Schools This Year? Things To Consider If You're Divorced
Are You Thinking Of Changing Schools This Year? Things To Consider If You're Divorced
Are You Thinking Of Changing Schools This Year? Things To Consider If You're Divorced

Are You Thinking Of Changing Schools This Year? Things To Consider If You're Divorced

Are You Thinking Of Changing Schools This Year? Things To Consider If You're Divorced

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