Divorce in Texas and Your Children’s School


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Brett Pritchard Law

Updated August 11, 2022

Divorce brings any number of complications, and the most emotionally wrenching are the decisions 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.

In Texas, divorced parents retain certain rights at all times (unless a court order specifies otherwise). These rights include making important decisions related to their children’s health care, religious upbringing, and education. They also allow both parents to attend their children’s school activities, including lunches, performances, and field trips.

It’s important to protect your rights as a parent. Consult with a Killeen child custody lawyer to learn more about how you can stay involved in your children’s lives.

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 the family home and current school district.

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 in the marital home is usually an attempt to disrupt the children's lives as little as possible. It also 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.

Learn more about how to become a primary custodial parent. Speak with an experienced lawyer today.

If Moving Is Necessary

If you are the primary custodial parent and moving 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 for any number of reasons, including the following:

  • 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 remain 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 the move 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.

Parents’ Rights

Divorced parents have the right to make important decisions in their children’s lives that guide their medical needs, their education, and their religious upbringing. (Learn more about these rights, also known as legal custody.) As these rights pertain to education, they include the following:

  • The right to receive information from the school and teachers

  • The right to confer with the other parent regarding decision making about education

  • The right to access school records

  • The right to confer with school officials regarding their children’s welfare and educational standings

  • The right to attend their children’s school activities

School Activities

The right to attend your children’s school activities is fairly new to Texas law. This addition is helpful because it highlights the importance of remaining involved in your children’s education and makes it clear that your efforts will not be restricted.

If a parent wants to be persnickety, however, he or she could make the argument that the language does not touch on all school activities, including father-daughter dances and the like. In other words, if a parent chooses to make trouble by splitting hairs, he or she may have wiggle room to do so.

This law’s intent, however, seems clear—parents have the right to attend their children’s school activities (without any stated exceptions). If your ex is attempting to keep you away from your children’s school activities, contact a Killeen, Texas, lawyer to protect your rights.

The New School Year

Beginning a new school year is a kind of reset for your children, but it also gives you and your ex a chance to come together in support of your children.

Your children work hard at school, and they take pride in sharing their accomplishments and their school with you. When you prioritize maintaining the status quo for your children and make the school a neutral zone in which both parents are welcome, you put your children’s best interests first.

You Need the Guidance of an Experienced Killeen Family Law Attorney on Your Side

The court takes issues related to children's ongoing stability very seriously, including keeping children in their current school districts whenever possible.

If your goal is to become the primary custodial parent or if you need to change the parameters of your divorce’s geographic restrictions, attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, can help. We are here for you, so please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at (254) 781-4222 for more information today.

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