Does a child’s school matter when determining custody?

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2023 | Family Law |

When parents get divorced and have to split up parenting time or physical custody of their children, there are many different factors that the court will use. If parents cannot come to an agreement on their own, the court can make a ruling. Some of the factors they may consider include mental and physical health, special needs, cultural considerations, evidence of abuse, parental roles, extended family members and the like.

But what about where the child goes to school? This is often very important to children themselves. But the custody situation may make it difficult for the child to continue attending the same school. Is the court going to take that into account when deciding where the child should live and what schedule the custody arrangement should use?

The need for stability

Although what school the child attends may seem like a minor issue to parents, it can be considered by the court. One of the factors that they look at is how difficult it will be for the child to adjust to a different community, a new school or new extracurricular activities.

For example, say that the child is heavily involved with sports. They’ve been on the same basketball team since they were in eighth grade. All of their friends attend the school. While they technically could start going to a different school, it may be very emotionally difficult for them to have to leave their team, their friends and this familiar setting.

After all, one of the other factors that the court will look at is the stability that can be provided for the children. Both stability and security are very important for kids in this situation, and the court tries to limit the amount of changes in a child’s life. 

Splitting up parenting time can be rather difficult. Those involved need to understand all of their legal rights.

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