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Author Topic: Definition of "residential parent"  (Read 8801 times)


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Definition of "residential parent"
« on: Nov 10, 2005, 11:12:59 AM »
I'm a daddy.

I'm in Ohio.

I'm separated about 10 months, divorced almost 3 months.

Our parenting plan (court order) calls for both parents to have "the right to make decisions concerning the children in health, social situations, morals, welfare, education, legal and economic environment." On the other hand it says "the minor children will primarily reside with Mother, who shall be deemed residential parent for school purposes."

Now I take the latter to mean (as my lawyer explained) that it is her residence that dictates the public school district, nothing else. No big deal, since we live in the same district anyway. But my ex claims that this makes her "primary" or "custodial" parent as far as school is concerned. She has interposed herself between me and the school attended by our oldest child--insisting on all communication going through her. And she's used that "residential parent" clause with the school to justify same.

So as I see it the ex is distorting the meaning of our court order, and she has sold the school on her interpretation. Now school personnel will not talk to me about our daughter without clearing it with the ex first.

My question is, I suppose, am I (and my lawyer) right about the meaning of "residential parent"? And how can I bring this up with the school most effectively? I don't feel like appearing to be a nit-picking, litigious jerk--but it seems they've bought into this misinterpretation and there will be resistance to admitting they were wrong.

Thanks for your help, everyone.


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RE: Definition of
« Reply #1 on: Nov 10, 2005, 11:57:12 AM »
Look up the info on FERPA.

Neither the school nor your ex candeny you any info unless it is expressly forbidden per a court order.


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RE: Definition of
« Reply #2 on: Nov 10, 2005, 12:02:08 PM »
Two issues with that.

1. It's a private school. Catholic. Not subject to FERPA. (Darn.)

2. Would it be a FERPA violation anyway if they merely keep the other parent in the loop? That's my main complaint. I don't need my ex to be monitoring every time I ask the school for help with scheduling, for example.

But mainly, I'm concerned about this idea that "residential parent for school purposes" has been interpreted by X and the school as "single point of contact and sole decision-maker." I think that's incorrect, but I don't have a good sense of how to say so tactfully.


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RE: Definition of
« Reply #3 on: Nov 11, 2005, 03:36:56 PM »
I would go back for a modification if I were you.  You may even be able to do it yourself without your lawyer.  Put a notation in your order that all info is to be shared with both parents.


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From DH's Decree dated 1999
« Reply #4 on: Nov 11, 2005, 10:22:26 PM »
"It is further ordered, adjudged, and decreed that the Court orders that the non-residential parent of the children is entitled to access, under the same terms and conditions as which access is provided to the residential parent ato any record that is related to the child, in chich the residential parent of the child is legally provided access.  NOTICE:  Any keeper of a record who knowingly fails to comply with the Order or ORC Section 3109.05.01(H) is in contempt of Court.  The Court further orders that the nonresidential parent is entitled to access under the same terms and conditions as to which access is provided to the residential parent, to any student activity that is related to the child in which the residential parent of the child legally is provided access.  NOTICE.  Any school official or employee who knowlingly failst to comply with the Order or ORC Section 3109.05.1(J) is in contempt of court."

O.K.....now that's dated 1999.

ORC is Ohio Revised Code.  

So....I suggestion you find the most current version of the code.

Get a copy and see if these sections still exist -- or what replaced them.

I'm willing to bet that the intent is still there even in 2005.

Then take that to the school and show them.  

If they're not "cooperative" or if they don't see the light, then take it to their school board of education and file a written complaint.

If You still don't get cooperation, I'd take it two directions -- one to their arch bishop or bishop -- and nope, don't know who that would be for that area, but parishes put together form a deanery, and deaneries put together report to the bishop.

And to whomever certifies the school -- don't know which agency that would be either, but I could find out.

Skip the EX and the family court system.....sure she created the problem, but they fell for her stupidity and they'll not trust her so quickly again once you can show she was wrong and they have to change their tune.

As for the residential stuff....that does make that parent the primary custodial parent.  BUT Ohio's revised codes really try to give the non-residential parent equal legal custody of the child.

When you read other's posts from different states, you are the non-custodial parent with joint legal custody.


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RE: From DH's Decree dated 1999
« Reply #5 on: Nov 11, 2005, 10:51:36 PM »
Oddly, this school is Catholic but outside of the diocesean structure. (As my mother used to say, "those **** Jesuits!")

But the statute is still in place exactly as you saw it. I'm wondering how they define "records" however.

Thanks for the pointer!


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