When you get a divorce as a parent, you and your spouse have to come up with a co-parenting plan. One major component of the co-parenting plan is your children's education. Your circumstances will determine your plans, like if one of you is planning to move a distance away from the other parent and the child needs to change schools. If one of you wishes to send your child to a private school, you have to determine how to divide tuition. The goal of the co-parenting plan post-divorce is to disrupt the child's life as much as possible. Educational needs are a significant part of the plan. Here are some things you need to consider:
Will Your Child Remain in Their School?
Your child may have to change schools after your divorce based on your situation. If you both move out of your marital home into new school districts, your child will have to change schools. If one parent remains in the current school district and the other parent moves and the children live with the parent who lives in a different school district, the court may get involved. The judge will look at both school districts and determine which option is best for the child. This will have a large impact on which parent will receive primary custody.
Does the Child Have a Say?
In some custody cases, a judge will listen to the child's opinion about their schooling choice. This information will not be the primary deciding factor as they make a decision. In some cases, children could be coached by one parent to sway them to state they want to live with them. A child may also want to please a parent by taking their side, even if this is not how the child truly feels. This is why a judge does not primarily base their decisions on a child's testimony.
What About Tuition?
If your child attends a private school that requires tuition, you both need to decide how the tuition will be paid. If you can both afford to divide the tuition, that is ideal, and the judge is likely to sign off on it. If one of you cannot afford to pay tuition, the other parent may be willing to pay the entire tuition if they wish to keep the child in the same school. The other option is to move your child to public school, but both parents need to agree.
For more information, reach out to a divorce attorney.