School Choice in Divorce Cases – Which Parent Controls?

Posted by Joseph Lento | Sep 01, 2023 | 0 Comments

Divorce is never easy, and if you're going through one or have done so, you understand all of the many issues that need to be considered and addressed, particularly in cases where there are children involved. One of the most contentious of these issues is often where the kids will attend school.

Pennsylvania Law on School Attendance

Generally speaking, under Pennsylvania law, children are entitled to attend school "in the district of residence of the parent with whom the child lives for a majority of the time." This general rule can be changed, however, by a court order or an approved custody agreement.

What Happens When Divorcing Parents Agree on a School

At some point in the divorce process, the court may direct the parties to complete a "parenting plan." This is a comprehensive document that covers many of the key issues that can arise when married partners divorce and children are involved, including the children's diet (kosher, for example), their religion, their doctor, which parent has physical custody of the children, which days and times the children can visit with the non-custodial parent, where the kids go on holidays, and more.

One of the issues included in the parenting plan is where the children are to attend school. If the divorcing parents agree on this, and the court reviews it and finds that the plan is in the best interests of the children, then the court will likely order the plan to be put in place. This order will include where the children are to attend school.

What Happens When Divorcing Parents Disagree on a School

When the parents can't agree on where the kids should go to school, the court will make that decision, in most cases, as part of an overall custody order. Custody orders involve consideration of a number of different factors, including "The need for stability and continuity in the child's education, family life, and community life" and "Which party is more likely to attend to the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of the child."

This means that if you and your ex don't agree on where your kids are to attend school, you'll need to convince the judge assigned to your divorce proceeding that the school you want your kids to attend makes the most sense in the overall context of a custody order.

How the LLF Law Firm Family Law Team Can Help

If you are facing a contested divorce proceeding in Pennsylvania, you need the help of an experienced family law attorney. The LLF Law Firm Family Law Team has years of experience helping parents in Pennsylvania who are going through the difficult and stressful process of a contested divorce. Our seasoned attorneys understand the law, the court procedures, and the stresses that you, as a parent, are facing as you go through this difficult process. We will help you get through this while protecting your rights throughout the process.

Call the LLF Law Firm Family Law Team today at 888.535.3686, or use our online contact form to set up a confidential consultation to learn more about how we can help.

About the Author

Joseph Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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The LLF Law Firm has unparalleled experience practicing Family Law in Pennsylvania. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Our Family Law Team will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

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