Divorce and Your Children’s School
Divorce brings any number of complications, and the most emotionally wrenching are those that involve your children. The court is only too aware of this fact and tends to base its child-related decisions on maintaining the status quo. If you and your divorcing spouse are going to be living a considerable distance from one another after the divorce, the judge involved in your case may be more likely to make the parent who remains in your children’s’ school district the primary custodial parent.
Your Living Arrangements
Often the parent who plays the more custodial role during the marriage – by staying home with the children while the other parent works, for example – prefers to remain in the marital home post-divorce. Remaining home is usually an attempt to disrupt the children's lives as little as possible. It also obviously means that the children will continue living in their current school district. Even if this parent has a difficult time affording to take over the entire mortgage on his or her own, this effort will likely help ensure that they will become the primary custodial parent – and the other parent will have a visitation schedule.
The Court’s Stance
When it comes to child custody issues, the court is always guided by what it considers to be in the best interest of the couple's children. Toward this end, the court generally believes that the fewer disruptions in the children's lives, the better, including remaining in their family home and their current school district.
If A Move Is Necessary
If you are the primary custodial parent and a move out of your children's school district becomes necessary, you will likely need to petition the court. Life has a way of throwing us curveballs, and a move can unexpectedly become required in any number of reasons, including:
A transfer at work
A more lucrative employment opportunity
An opportunity to further your education
A move that increases your children’s educational opportunities
Many divorce decrees require that a primary custodial parent remains within a specified geographic location to help ensure the parent with the visitation schedule has ample opportunities to be with their children. To obtain a modification to leave the area – and your children's school district – you will need to show that it is in your children's best interests. You will also have to show that there is a reasonable means for your children's other parent to continue visiting your shared children.