When Divorced Parents Don’t Agree on School Choice
When parents are married, they don’t always agree on what is best for their children. Even after divorce, parents must continue to negotiate, compromise and repeatedly weigh what is in their child’s best interest.
If you and your ex share legal custody and do not agree about which school option is best for your children, here are some things to consider while you strive to reach an appropriate compromise:
Consistency – when children have undergone the degree of change usually characteristic of divorce, it can be very helpful to keep things as consistent as possible during the child’s adjustment period. Even if the child's current school is not ideal, it might be worth sticking with it for a year or two until the emotional dust settles.
Educational value – high test scores and academic awards are not the only measures of a good school. Explore options for extracurricular activities, programs in music and art and the school’s reputation for community involvement.
Location – it is helpful to have children in a school that is accessible to both parents. This facilitates weeknight sleepovers and enables both parents to be actively involved in school activities.
Social environment – children need friends, and school is a great place to have them. In the tumultuous months following a divorce it is essential that a child be in a supportive environment. Children who attend a neighborhood school together with their friends tend to have an easier time coping with change of any kind, including divorce.
Educational philosophy – Every school has its own unique orientation to learning and child development. In the aftermath of divorce it might be helpful to send children to a school that supports the whole child -not only a student's academic growth, as such a school might be more willing and equipped to manage the emotional or psychological challenges that can accompany divorce.
If you and your ex are at a schooling stalemate, try going to mediation. If mediation is not an option or you fail to reach a compromise, speak to a child custody attorney. Call the Buffalo Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis and Associates at 716.886.9600 or contact us online.