Making the decision to change school districts can be difficult for parents. It is a big decision that impacts not only the child but also the entire family. There are many factors to consider when making this decision, and it is essential to do your research before moving your child to another school district. In this blog post, our child custody attorneys at Fenchel Family Law PC discuss who can make this decision, why it should be considered, and how to go about making it.
Considering Changing Schools
The decision to change school districts should be made with the child’s best interests in mind. In most cases, it is the parent or parents with legal custody of the child who makes this decision. If you are considering changing school districts for your child, it is important to talk to the other parent about your plans.
Together, you should discuss this change, and if you share legal custody of your child, you will need to come to an agreement before enrolling your child in the new school setting. If you cannot come to an agreement, you may need to seek legal guidance from a trusted child custody attorney to help you find a solution.
If you have sole legal custody of your child or have been awarded sole decision-making power for educational decisions, you can make this decision on your own. Once the decision has been made, you should share it with your child's other parent, so they know about the changes in your child's education. While your child's other parent might disagree with your decision, they need to be informed of these changes, especially if you share physical custody of your child and they help with school drop off and pick up.
Reasons Why This Change Might Be Considered
There are many reasons why parents may consider changing school districts. Some families move short distances for work or family reasons. Others may feel that their child would benefit from a different school environment, with a change in teacher-to-student ratio, resources available for students, or even different available extracurriculars. Some parents may even feel their child is not receiving the best education possible in their current school district. No matter your reasons for considering this change, it is essential to talk to your child about it and make sure that they are on board with the decision before any changes are made.
Discussing school changes with your child is important, as you should follow what is in their best interests. They may raise concerns or share their feelings about this change with you, and you should take care to listen. You might learn about your child's concerns for their education, social life, or extracurricular activities, which might impact the final decision regarding enrolling your child in a different school. While your child does not necessarily have to agree with what is in their best interests, it is vital to understand how they feel about these proposed changes before enacting them.
Making the Change
If you have decided to move your child to another school district, there are a few things you might need to do.
Seeking a Relocation Order
If you believe that you will need to move to make this change in education, consult a trusted relocation attorney to see if your proposed move will require a court-approved relocation order. The attorney can help you understand if your situation applies, and if so, they can help you prepare for the process ahead.
It is important to understand that if you need to seek a court-approved relocation order, you will need to do so before you make your proposed move. You will need to provide written notice of the move to your child's other parent at least 30 days before the planned relocation. If the other parent does not agree to the move, then you might need to file a petition for relocation with the court. The court will review your petition and may grant or deny your request to relocate.
Preparing Your Child
One of the most important things you can do as a parent moving your child to a different school is to help them feel prepared for their first day. If your child desires, you can help coordinate a tour of the school, where your child will see their classrooms and understand where they will go to school. If possible, make sure your child attends orientation day, where they can meet their teachers and some of their new classmates.
Since this can be a big change for your child, starting or continuing therapy as they enter this new school can be helpful for them. With a therapist, your child can discuss their feelings about their new school and any challenges they might face before learning about coping methods that might help them.
Take Your Life Back
Making a school change can be a big decision for families. If you are considering this change for your child, make sure to consult an experienced attorney to understand what you might face as a parent making this major decision. At Fenchel Family Law PC, our child custody attorneys can help you prepare for any major future changes in your child's life and prepare any modifications necessary for your family.
Are you considering moving your child to a new school district? Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how we can help you prepare for this upcoming change. Call us at (415) 650-1112 to get started!