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Making Schooling Decisions for Children After Divorce

In the aftermath of a divorce, you and your ex are expected to continue communicating regarding important parenting decisions, including education decisions for your children. In some cases you might be on the same page about these decisions, but what happens if you disagree?

With regard to education, there might be disagreements over whether a child will attend a public or private school, which school they will attend or who will be responsible for schooling costs. Here’s an overview of what you should know about making these types of decisions.

Consider your custody arrangement

Who has say over education-related matters? This depends on your custody agreement. Parents will typically share physical custody. It may make sense for a child to go to school in an area where they spend the majority of their time. If both parents are in the same school district, that makes matters easier, but if not, whoever has the child more often may have the edge.

That’s not the only factor to consider, though. Parents will typically have joint legal custody, meaning they both have a right to make decisions regarding how to raise the child.

Ultimately, if parents are not able to agree on a solution, this is an issue that may require mediation, or even going back to court to have a judge make the decision. If an issue is private vs. public school, a judge will likely consider the parents’ respective abilities to pay for the schooling, and if private schooling was ever something considered or discussed during the marriage.

In some cases, a judge may allow an older child to weigh in with their opinions and schooling preferences.

Ultimately, any court will make decisions primarily based on the best interests of the child, not the wishes of the parents.

For more information about resolving disputes over schooling decisions after divorce, contact an experienced Minnesota child custody lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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