How Divorce Effects Your Children and Their Schools

Published on May 27, 2017 by

Divorcing parents often consider custody and child support for their children, but your children’s schooling is also very vital to consider in entering into a custodial agreement. It is vital to have your divorce decree clearly specify how you and your ex will handle such school-related items as parent-teacher conferences, access to school records and payment for school-related expenses, as well as who will pick the child up if sick at school.

In Nevada, custody is divided into two areas: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody concerns the timeshare that the child spends with each parent and legal custody concerns the extent to which each parent makes decisions for the child with regards to school, religion, medical decisions, etc. During the divorce proceedings, the agreement must be clear about the child’s residence and where the child will attend school. The divorce agreement should also stipulate that one parent cannot change the child’s school without the consent and/or input of the other parent.

It is often a good idea to make sure that the divorce degree states that each parent will be responsible for obtaining information about their child from the school on their own. If one parent lives in another state, they can stay involved via internet and phone apps because schools have that information on their school websites for parents.

Generally, both parents should get full access to school records for their children as well as access to their children’s teachers. Schools can provide each parent with a copy of report cards, progress reports, etc. Some schools may be willing to have separate conferences for their students. If two parents cannot attend events together, a provision could be put in the divorce decree providing for parents switching off at events or staying away from one another at events.

At the beginning of the school year, students are required to provide emergency contact information. If both parents can work together, they should generally both be listed as people to be contacted in case of emergency and as people who may pick up the children from school unless there is a valid reason not to. This provision should also be listed in the divorce decree, if possible. The non-custodial parent should not have this ability if there is a concern that the child may be removed from the school without permission. School personnel rarely prohibit one parent or the other from removing the child from the premises unless there is a good reason. If there is a danger for a child to be kidnapped or harmed by an ex-spouse, law enforcement involvement or emergency motions may need be necessary to keep the child safe. What do you do if you’re afraid the child might be kidnapped or harmed by the ex-spouse? File an emergency motion to prevent it. The school needs a clear directive if a child is not to go with the other parent.

School fees even for public education can be costly. There are field trips, activity fees, lunches, school pictures, and school supplies to pay for. Oftentimes these school expenses are paid for by the custodial parent, who is receiving child support. However, the extent to which each parent is responsible for school-related expenses and extracurricular activities of the child is something which should be addressed with as much specificity as possible when the custody issues are being considered, and be set forth with as much specificity as possible in the divorce decree or court order. Items such as private school tuition or other school expenses are not necessarily required for a parent to pay for their child. These are usually expenses that need to be agreed to by the parents.

In conclusion, the best approach for divorcing parents is to make sure that the school issues are addressed in as much detail as possible when the custody issues are being considered.