The education that your children receive has a massive impact on their future opportunities. They will network with others who might help them get jobs later, and they will learn basic information and skills that will turn them into valuable employees.
Parents often have differing ideas of how much education their children require and how high their grades must be to meet family standards. Sometimes, parents even disagree about what school the children should attend.
Typically, parents in Virginia enroll their children in specific schools based on their permanent address. Often, the parent with primary custody is the one whose address determines the school the children attend. Maybe you think that the children should transfer to the school district near your home or start attending a private school. Who gets to make those decisions when parents in Virginia share custody?
Legal custody conveys decision-making authority
When you negotiated your parenting plan with your ex or a judge entered a custody order following your divorce, the documents produced should have included legal custody determinations. The parenting plan explains how the two of you should share that authority.
Often, judges want the parents to reach an agreement on important custody matters. However, it is also common for parenting plans to give one parent the ultimate decision-making authority in certain areas, like education or health care. Reviewing your parenting plan can often help you answer the question of whether you or your ex technically has the authority to change the children’s school.
What if you have reasons for serious concern?
There are some situations in which the parenting decisions related to education could have lasting consequences for your children. If you do not have the necessary legal custody now to make those decisions, you could always request a custody modification granting you that authority.
Typically, you have to show that such changes would be in the best interests of the children. If you can convince a judge that granting you that authority would be best for your family, then you may eventually have the power to make those decisions for your children. If not, you may need to focus on discussing the matter with your ex so that the two of you can reach an accord on the matter.
Learning more about the Virginia approach to shared custody will help you overcome challenges in your parenting arrangements.