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School attendance issue

Started by Apple, Jun 22, 2011, 07:40:22 PM

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Over the last 14 months my DH and his ex have used a Parenting Consultant to reslove issues they can't.  The biggie has been school attendance.  Last year BM wanted to move, changing the kids school.  PC researched all aspects and ruled the kids have to stay in the same schools for the 2010-11 school year.  BM complied and they stayed put.

Fast forward to this year.  BM notified DH in mid May she was moving, and has already singed a lease on a place 60 miles away (and told the kids and school before telling DH).  Once again, DH contacts PC and she re-evaluates the kids progress etc. and rules again, they need to stay in the same district.

As expected, BM has filed a motion to have the school decision reversed.  The PC write ups (both years) are pretty clear, there is no benefit to moving the kids to a new school.  PC spoke to teachers and they all agree the kids should stay where they are.  All are concerned the kids may suffer an unrecoverable set back.  Both kids are severly behind (but making progress).  Youngest is ADHD (and LD) and has problems dealing with change.  Also, the 'new' district has a large % of expulsion, 9 times that of the current district.   

DH has contacted his attorney and we hope to meet with her soon.  BM is moving 60 miles away.  I can't see a senario where a judge would uphold the school decision and keep them in BM's custody, the daily travel would be too much for them.   

Is school attendance enough to change custody (if they lived with us we could get them to school)?  Currently BM and DH share legal and BM has physical.   


Do you live in that school district? If mom leaves, the school will only allow kids to stay IF you live within their boundaries.

If you do, then you file for primary custody and the PC will have a lot of weight with judge.

If you do not, then the judge would have to force her to stay in same area and if she can prove that she is being kicked out of where she is now....may not happen. If the kids come to you and have to change schools anyway....she may win.

How much school did they miss? If it was a lot, will the school put something in writing for you? You can use their report cards for the attendance proof too. Ask the school if they sent her any letters about their attendance and get copies if possible. The school can call on educational neglect but they usually do not do that unless the numbers are real high and parent is not responding to district.

Since the decision was made, you may just have the judge dismiss it and say this was decided twice already. DO you have a court date?


We don't live in the district either, but the kids have been approved for open enrollment.  So they can continue in the same district regardless of where they live. 

BM is not being kicked out of where she lives now, she's voluntarily moving (her new husband works near the new place).  All reasoning for moving is based on her wants. 

I was unclear on the school.  The kids didn't miss school, they are behind academically.  Both at least two years.

We do have a court date, 8/10.  DH got the notice today.  BM's offical move date is 8/1 (although her lease started 6/1).  School here starts the Tuesday after Labor Day.

We'll meet with the attorney soon to file the response. 


I would get your lawyer right on top of this. My guess is that he will use the PC recommendations and the last two judges decisions. Hopefully you will see same judge. His response should be "dismissal as court ruled on this issue twice and that the PC recommended that children stay in same school district as children are making progress to their special ed goals but are still two years behind their peers. If mother would like to relocate, father is willing to take primary custody of children so they continue their education in xx district and keep a steady relationship with him. Father will encourage a relationship with their mother and mother will be afforded reasonable visitation with children if custody is reversed" ...

Did she move children already? You may be able to file an emergency hearing to have children brought back to town and if she does not, you are awarded primary custody. She defied a court order to take them out of school district. Ask the school if she filled out transfer papers...get copies. Lawyer may be able to get you in front of a judge this week.

If the children are classified special ed, be careful and now she has they have a disability and not her fault they are behind.


We have a meeting with the attorney Monday morning.  The PC told us she's had her decisions reversed in court only twice in the last 20 years, and they were minor decisions.  We didn't see a judge for the decision last year, the PC ruled and BM complied so there was no hearing.

They haven't moved yet.  They are in summer school in the current district now and BM plans on moving 8/1. 

Each party has 14 days to appeal the PC's decision, BM did it in the time allowed so she's not in violation of anything . 

We're not blaiming BM for the kids being behind (even though I feel she is very lacking as a parent and could have done more).  However, it's still in their best interest to stay put schoolwise (the school's opinion, the PC's opinion and mine and DH opinion). 

I'm just concerned this all isn't enough to change custoday.  I think it is, but of course I'm biased... 


In your response, ask that children are not to be transferred without court/father's consent. That way the school will never release records if she tries to sneak it next school year.

Appeal- really she needs to prove why the court made the wrong decision.

My question to your lawyer is what if she moves anyway or what if she claims she has no place to live (sold or told landlord she is leaving and now can not stay....).


All good points, thank you Ocean.  I appreicate it. 

BM currently lives in a large apartment complex, I'm sure they have units open.  BM has moved five times in the last five years (all within the school district until now), she's very versed on finding a new place to live...