For children, school is a very important part of life. Between classes and activities, Arizona children spend a lot of time either at school or doing school-related activities. In addition to the time commitment, where a child goes to school and how they perform can have a profound impact on their future.
Naturally, then, school is a concern for parents. Even when they live together, the issue of school may cause disagreements between them. When living separately, a disagreement between parents about schooling could escalate to the point that it requires a court’s intervention.
Oftentimes, these disagreements are very fact-sensitive, so Phoenix parents who are having a school-related argument about the best interests of the children should consider going over their situation with an experienced Arizona family law attorney. However, there are a few general principles one should keep in mind about school and child custody. Perhaps most importantly, the terms of the court’s custody order will largely determine each parent’s, as well as the child’s, rights with regard to school. So, if the order specifies that a child must attend a given school, then parents must respect that order.
Absent a specific order about schooling, decisions about it will hinge on which parent has legal custody. The parent with legal custody will be the one who makes final decisions about the child’s education. If parents share legal custody, then the parents must either negotiate an agreement about their issues or they must ask the court to assist in resolving them.