Dealing with Districts: Divorce, School Districts, and Parental Mobility


schoolWhen parents begin seriously considering and working towards divorce, there are plenty of “red button” issues that have to be dealt with in the immediate time frame: Custody, support, property division, visitation, etc.  These issues take a lot of time and energy to properly settle, and as a result many divorcing couples don’t have the ability to look forward to see the unintended consequences.

The Two Income Trap

The fact is, divorced parents have stepped out onto new paths that will lead them to establish a new life.  While this is a single life at first, and usually involves remaining local, no one can accurately predict where that path will take them.

Additionally, many of the lifestyle choices made by couples are based on a dual-income model if both parents work, and this can mean things such as housing and the school district that the children fall into are actually quite expensive to maintain.  It can also mean that if the custodial parent moves into a more expensive area, the other parent may have a challenge if they cannot afford to follow due to housing costs.

The Key Is Distance

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to challenge this.  While the following parent can ask the court to intervene, the court is generally more interested in distance and travel time that make visitation difficult.  In other words, as long as the visiting parent can reasonably keep up visitation even if they cannot afford to live in close proximity, the court is unlikely to intervene.

Custodial parents retain the right to make decisions on housing and schooling for their children as long as those decisions do not infringe on the rights granted the other spouse in the separation agreement.
 


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