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Can a Parent Change a Child’s School Without the Other Parent’s Permission in Miami?

can a parent change a child's school without the other parents permission

Summer is a season of warmth, sunshine, and excitement. But if you’re thinking of transferring your child to a different school over the break without discussing it with the other parent, you might be in for an unpleasant surprise.

Generally, the answer to whether you can change your child’s school without the other parent’s permission is “absolutely not.” Florida is a shared parental responsibility state, meaning unless it’s a detriment to the child’s well-being, both parents have equal rights in making decisions for their children. Moving schools or districts without consulting the other parent violates that and can get you in trouble with the family court.

At Vasquez de Lara Law Group, we know that, as parents, we want the best for our children, and with that comes the need to understand the legal considerations and requirements surrounding school enrollment. In this blog, our child custody lawyers will explore the legal landscape of changing a child’s school without the other parent’s permission in Florida.

Legal Considerations for Changing a Child’s School After Divorce

In Florida, changing a child’s school requires the consent of both parents if the court has ordered shared parental responsibility. This ensures both parents have a say in their child’s educational future. If a parent wishes to change their child’s school without the other parent’s permission, they would need court approval.

Court approval for changing a child’s school is typically granted when valid reasons support the change. These reasons include academic or extracurricular opportunities, an improved educational environment, or better proximity to the child’s primary residence. It is important to note that the court will always prioritize the child’s best interests when making this decision.

Shared Parental Responsibility

When parents share parental responsibility in Florida, they embark on a joint adventure. Making decisions about changing schools is no exception. The law encourages parents to collaborate and make choices together. Involving the other parent in the decision-making process can create a solid foundation for the child’s educational future and avoid legal waves.

Court Orders and Parental Agreement

Court orders or written parental plans regarding our child’s education may already address the issue of changing schools, providing you with a map to navigate the necessary steps and requirements. Following the provisions outlined in these orders or agreements helps you stay on the right path.

Notice and Consent Requirements

In Florida, unless the parental plan says otherwise, you should notify the other parent when considering a school change. This notice should be clear as crystal, providing relevant details such as the reasons for the change, the new school’s information, and how it may impact our child’s education or daily routine.

Exceptions to Requiring Parental Permission

While parental consent is typically required for changing a child’s school, there are certain exceptions and limitations to consider. These exceptions may include modifications of court orders.

Sometimes circumstances change, and we may need to modify existing court orders regarding our child’s education. Seeking a modification involves showing a significant change in circumstances or a compelling reason for the change. Consulting with a family law attorney can guide you through the legal process.

Factors Considered by the Court in Approving a School Change

When a parent seeks court approval for changing a child’s school without the other parent’s consent, the court considers various factors to ensure the decision aligns with the child’s best interests. Some key factors considered include your child’s best interests, educational stability, and parental involvement.

Child’s Best Interests

The court’s primary consideration is the child’s best interests. They assess how the proposed school change would impact the child’s well-being, academic progress, and social development. Factors such as the quality of education, extracurricular activities, and the school’s environment are considered.

Educational Stability

The court evaluates the child’s educational history and the potential disruption that changing schools may cause. They consider whether the proposed change would maintain or enhance the child’s educational stability. Factors like the continuity of curriculum, friendships, and familiarity with teachers can influence the court’s decision.

Parental Involvement

The court examines each parent’s level of involvement in the child’s education and their ability to support and facilitate the proposed school change. The court looks for evidence of active participation in parent-teacher meetings, academic support, and engagement in the child’s educational activities. The parent seeking the school change must demonstrate their commitment to remaining involved in their child’s education.

Take Control of Your Child’s Educational Journey With Vasquez de Lara Law Group

We know you care deeply about your children and want what’s best for them. Whether you’re a parent seeking to change your child’s school or a parent concerned about the potential change, we understand the importance of finding common ground.

Our attorneys at Vasquez de Lara Law Group can provide personalized advice tailored to our unique situation. We can guide you through the legal process, ensuring we sail smoothly toward a resolution that protects our child’s educational journey. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Author Bio

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a Miami family law firm. With over 20 years of experience in family law, she has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including divorces, child support, child custody, alimony, and other family law cases.

Vanessa received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the 2016-2023 Super Lawyers list.

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