A child’s school placement affects many aspects of the parent-child relationship, from afterschool pickup schedules to a parent’s ability to attend concerts, sports matches and other events. If you share custody of a minor child, you have an important say in where your child goes to school. Knowledge of the law is essential in navigating this important aspect of your child’s life.
Where do the parents live?
Under Ohio custody laws, one parent must be designated the residential parent for the purposes of school placement. If both parents live in the same school district, choosing a school is likely an easy process. If the parents live in different parts of the city, however, one parent may feel strained by having to travel a long distance to pick up the child after school or to attend school events.
Such a situation can give rise to arguments and even legal disputes. Taking the proper action during such a dispute is important for protecting your child’s best interests and maximizing your role in his or her life. If you are seeking a custody modification regarding where your child attends school, you must follow a strict legal process that can take many months.
Expect 9 to 11 months
The time to start taking action on school placement modifications is the fall before the next school year. Hearings with child custody judges are granted on a first-come, first-served basis. You cannot initiate proceedings in the spring or summer and expect a result by the first day of school.
By planning ahead well in advance, you can avoid turbulent situations that can create rifts with the other parent and disrupt the child’s sense of stability.