How Does My Child's Education Factor Into My Parenting Plan?

A mother and her two children sit on a bench in the woods

Figuring out the day to day care of your child, and the details of their future with your former partner is one of the most difficult tasks in child custody and divorce cases. A parenting plan will detail the continued relationship and contact with the child, the time spent with each parent, exchange times, locations, as well as details such as healthcare, religion and education. Your Orlando Child Custody Attorney can discuss with you, your desires as well as your child’s best interest when crafting a parenting plan that involves your child’s medical, interpersonal, emotional needs as well as their education.

When determining a parenting plan, the court is required to “determine all matters relating to parenting and time-sharing of each minor child of the parties in accordance with the best interests of the child.” The best interest of a child considers numerous factors and are not limited to just the statutory confines. The court may consider any relevant evidence in order to determine what is in fact the child’s best interest. However, the court does have a presumption of shared parental responsibility between parents unless there is evidence that such contact with a parent will be detrimental to a child. However, this presumption is difficult to overcome and therefore, the majority of cases require parents to share parental responsibility, especially in regards to education decisions.

One of the major terms of a parenting plan includes the education of the child. A parenting plan will address if the child will be enrolled in private or public school. If enrolled in private school, the parenting plan will need to note the payment for such education and to which private school the parties choose to send the child for elementary, middle and high school years. In contrast, if the parents choose to enroll their child in public school, the plan will need to address which household will be listed as the primary address designation for the public school enrollment. Many parents will consider which parent lives closest to the school in order to determine many of their timesharing decisions. Therefore, it is a crucial part of the parenting plan. For instance, the parent who is in closer proximity will have more time in order to allow the children shorter travel time and lessen stressors in the child’s life. Further, it is important to keep consistency in the child’s life during this time. Therefore, parents may also want to consider the school the child is already enrolled in and formulate a plan surrounding this consistency. However, if a parent is relocating, you may want to note in a parenting plan the rating of a school system that a child is required to be in. The choice between public or private education and even specific schools may be difficult for some parents, however, these decisions are crucial to your child’s future. Therefore, it is important to note your desires and goals when entering into a negotiation for your parenting plan regarding the education of your child.

Courts highly encourage the parents to collaboratively work together to define the parameters of their child’s education. However, if unable to negotiate an agreement the court may order certain aspects of a child’s upbringing divided between parents. “The court may consider the expressed desires of the parents and may grant to one party the ultimate responsibility over specific aspects of the child’s welfare… such as education, health care, and any other responsibilities that the court finds unique to a particular family.” Whether parental responsibility regarding education is shared or awarded to a single parent, both parents will retain the right of “access to records and information pertaining to a minor child, including, but not limited to, medical, dental, and school records.”

Your Orlando Child Custody Attorney will ensure your desires are known and your rights are protected. We will discuss with you the necessary points to cover in your parenting plan, especially in relation to your child’s education. Contact an experienced Orlando Child Custody Attorney to create a parenting plan written with your child’s best interests in mind today.

Speaking to an attorney at our Orlando office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 407-512-0887 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.

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