Choosing a school begins long before the SATs, high school, or even middle school. When it comes to co-parenting, picking out where your child goes to kindergarten can be challenging. Parents with joint legal custody have an equal say regarding education, religion, and medical treatment. A disagreement could ultimately force you and your former spouse into court, but there are multiple steps you can take before it gets to that.
We decided to talk about how to choose a school so you and your former spouse can have these discussions. Although you may not agree at first, that doesn’t mean you won’t reach a conclusion that you are both comfortable with. By learning how to navigate and talk openly about these issues, you set yourself up for long-term success as co-parents. Here are some of the hurdles you may face.
For some parents, deciding where their child attends kindergarten is relatively simple. They may live in a small town, and there may not be a wide range of options. For others, there are an extensive amount of factors to consider:
- The school’s location and its proximity to both parents’ homes.
- The religious affiliation of the school.
- Does your choice of kindergarten determine which schools the child goes through high school?
- Is one school rated higher than the other?
These are questions that don’t have objective answers. But they will prompt you and your spouse to have a discussion (or several). In addition to everything mentioned above, there are transportation challenges, work schedules (for pick-ups and drop-offs), and where their other siblings or step-siblings go.
The 50/50 Challenge
Some parents get divorced when their child is very young or hasn’t begun school yet. Even if one parent moves across the state, the parents can maintain 50/50 custody. That arrangement will end when the child has to go to school. When one location is chosen over the other, 50/50 custody is not sustainable. Although it will require a new agreement, one parent may become the primary custodian.
Easterling Law, PLLC
You and your spouse can only answer the questions presented in this article. The experienced attorneys at Easterling Law, PLLC, are here to support and advise you during this process. Give you and your spouse ample time to discuss these questions beforehand—and plan on having several of them if there are a lot of factors in play. For additional help, contact us today to schedule a consultation.