Except under extreme circumstances, both parents retain certain rights and responsibilities related to their children after a divorce. The majority of these rights involve making decisions about the kids’ health and education (sometimes called meds and eds). This relates to legal custody, which most parents share. Physical custody, on the other side, refers to whom the children live with. Generally, one parent is the primary custodian, which means the children live primarily with him or her, and the other parent has a visitation schedule.
The rights and responsibilities related to legal custody include:
Parents have the right to access their children’s educational, medical, dental, and psychological records.
Parents have the right to confer with one another – to the extent possible – when making important decisions about their children’s education, health, and welfare.
Parents have the right to access their children’s academic records.
Parents have the right to confer with school officials about the educational status and welfare of their children.
Parents have the right to attend their children’s school activities.
Because the issue of attending school activities can be a sticking point for some divorcing parents, the State of Texas has added more exacting language to the Family Code to help clarify the issue.
Amendment to the Family Code
The Texas Family Code was recently amended to include school lunches, school performances, and field trips in the school activities that parents have the right to partake in. Sometimes a divorced parent will take issue when the other parent sees the children outside of their allotted visitation schedule – for example, when a parent has lunch with the children at school when it is not his or her day.
Texas is attempting to divert such problems by specifically referencing them in its Family Code. By specifying this right, Texas seeks to eliminate the problem of parents who take scheduling squabbles to the next level by trying to limit access at school.
Your Children’s School
If you share legal custody of your children with their other parent, you have the right to go and have lunch with your kids at school and to attend their school performances and field trips (as applicable). This is not a right for which you need to negotiate with your ex. Children enjoy sharing their experiences with their parents, and availing yourself of these school-based opportunities is a great way to do so.
Consult with an Experienced Killeen Family Law Attorney about Your Custody Concerns
Your children’s ongoing health, happiness, and well-being is obviously your top concern. Being able to attend their school activities allows you an important opportunity to share your children’s daily lives with them. If you have concerns about your rights as a parent, attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is committed to helping you find answers that work for you and your children. We are here to help, so please contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.