Custody Considerations for School Decision-Making

Our Experienced Child Custody Lawyers Advise on the Elements Weighed When Choosing Schools in Passaic County, NJ

Custody Considerations for School Decision-Making in Passaic County NJThere are many elements that go into a child custody determination after a New Jersey divorce. In New Jersey, child custody is divided into two parts: physical custody and legal custody. A physical custody arrangement notes which the child will live with. Parents can either have joint physical custody, by which a child spends a relatively even amount of time with each parent or perhaps one can have sole physical custody, making them the “custodial parent.” Legal custody, on the other hand, determines who will have the legal right to make decisions regarding their child’s upbringing, including medical decisions, education, religion, etc. Parents can share legal custody, or one parent can be the sole legal decision-maker. One conflict that arises when parents share legal custody is that they cannot agree on where the child will go to school. As it is a decision that requires both legal guardians’ input, this can result in an impasse.

If you and your co-parent share legal custody and can’t agree on where your child will go to school, contact our team at Montanari Law Group for qualified legal counsel. We serve clients in Wayne, Totowa, Clifton, Paterson, Ringwood, Woodland Park, and other towns around Passaic County. Continue reading to discover additional information about the rights and responsibilities of parents in making decisions concerning their child’s education, and then contact our local office in Little Falls by calling 973-233-4396 to set up an initial and free consultation.

The Crucial Role of Custody Type in Child Education Decision-Making in NJ

The type of custody is absolutely relevant in decision-making regarding your child’s education. A person who has sole legal custody of a child is the only adult who can make decisions regarding their health, education, and religion. Joint custody, on the other hand, by which legal rights and responsibilities are shared, affords both parents equal decision-making prowess regarding such issues.

Intervention Protocols in Shared Legal Custody Situations

When parents share legal custody, each is required by law to consult with the other before making large decisions regarding their child’s upbringing. If one parent consistently fails to consult the other or goes against the explicit wishes of the other before a compromise is found, the family court will have justification to intervene. A parent can petition the court to modify the custody arrangement or have the other parent’s rights terminated if they demonstrate a dangerous or harmful behavior due to lack of consensus, such as removing their child from school without consulting the other, enrolling them in the school of their choice on a whim, or changing the child’s location in any way without checking first with the other parent.

Factors in Selecting a School Post-Divorce

When choosing a school for kids post-divorce, it behooves parents to consider the child’s individual academic and emotional needs following the divorce, the distance between the school and each of the child’s homes, the educational and socioemotional experience and skillsets of the faculty, and extracurricular opportunities available that align with both parents’ agreed method of upbringing.

Effective Coparent Communication in Children’s School Decisions

Child Custody and School Determinations in Northern New Jersey Everyone – the parents and the legal system – wants what’s best for the child after a divorce. Addressing conflict and disagreement regarding how a child will be raised can negatively impact the socioemotional well-being and outcomes of the child, so it is important that parents practice nonviolent and transparent communication with a “same team” mentality. Try to keep emotional wounds regarding the relationship out of discussions and decision-making about your child’s future: agree that you are working together to create a safe container for their growth, and go from there.

If the conflict between you is too high, consider working with a facilitator or therapist. If facilitated negotiation or mediation proves unsuccessful, you will need to take your matter to family court, where the judge will look to the child’s best interests to decide for you. If you think it is in your child’s best interest, you can also file a motion for sole legal custody.

Contact Our Little Falls Family Lawyers to Represent You in School Decision Making Issues

When navigating the difficult terrain of co-parenting and sharing responsibilities of physical and legal custody, the support of a qualified family law attorney on your side is invaluable. A family law attorney at Montanari Law Group will ensure that your child’s needs are met, and you are supported in negotiating a sustainable co-parenting plan for your child that covers areas of medical care, religion, education, visitation, and other elements inherent to shared custody. Documenting your plan and returning to it often with the help of your legal team can make communication with your co-parent much more fluid and successful and the outcomes for your family positive. Contact us today at 973-233-4396 to learn how we can help you navigate the choppy waters of joint custody and making a decision with your ex-spouse about your child’s school in Prospect Park, West Milford, Hawthorne, Caldwell, Wanaque, Haledon, Passaic City, and elsewhere in Passaic County, New Jersey.


To speak with one of our highly knowledgeable attorneys, contact us today at (973)-233-4396 or toll-free at (888)-877-7985. You can also complete the form below to begin your conversation. We are a personalized, boutique-style law firm that offers free initial consultations and flexible appointment options.