October 6, 2014

Where Will the Kids Go to School?

174496060It is not uncommon for parents to disagree on school choice. Sometimes parents have differing opinions on the curriculum of a school or certain teachers or even location or class schedule. When children are at natural school moves (such as entering junior high or high school), additional changes need to be made.

When parents are divorced, these decisions can often be even more difficult. In addition to deciding what’s best for the children, emotions and challenging communication can make the decisions even harder. Sometimes it is good to look at the practical and logical considerations to help make these joint decisions. Here are some specific considerations in a school decision:

  • If it is not a natural school change point, how well do the children deal with change? Do they make friends easily? Do they know anyone at the potential new school? Are there specific elements of the new school that would be particularly enjoyable for the child (such as an orchestra or specific extra curricular activity)?
  • How well does the new school deal with change? Do they have programs in place to integrate transfer students into school? Is there anyone who has transferred into the school recently that you or the children could talk to in order to prepare? Could the school assign your children mentors or buddies to help them feel more comfortable if they transfer?
  • How would a school change impact parenting time? Will both parents still have meaningful time with the children?
  • Should the children have some say in this decision? Junior high and high school students may want to visit potential schools and provide some input on the change.

Ideally, divorced parents with joint custody can work together and make a school choice together. If it becomes difficult or starts to cause any stress or strain on the children, consider seeking third party support. A neutral child specialist or collaborative process could help you work together on a decision.

Kimberly Miller
Attorney, KM Family Law, LLC

Kimberly Miller, JD, MA, LAMFT is known for her ability to resolve challenging family issues without resorting to aggressive legal strategies that are damaging to vital family relationships. After years of litigating business and family disputes at a prominent national firm, she recognized the devastating psychological and financial impact that litigation can have on individuals, couples, and other loved ones. She decided to establish her own practice to promote alternative forms of dispute resolution, such as collaborative law and mediation, to reach consensus. Learn more at www.KMFamilyLaw.com

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