Changing School Districts With Joint Custody

child careQuestion:

My ex-wife and I share 50/50 custody and disagree about changing our kids’ school districts.

She wants to pull our kids out of the school district they have been in their whole lives (the one in my neighborhood) and enroll them in a school district closer to her a few miles away.

How does changing school districts with joint custody work? Can my ex-wife place the children in another school district without my consent?


Joint custody and school decisions can be very complicated.

When the parties both have legal custody of the children, also known as joint legal custody, both parents must agree on the major decisions for the children, such as school, medical, and religion.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

Can your child move school districts if it is within the court-ordered limits? Every parenting plan has different language in it that is tailored to your situation and your child.

If the parenting plan indicates that a child can go to school within a certain mile radius or in several different school district options, then your ex-wife can consider a change of school for your child, but again, it most likely has to be agreed upon.

If the parties do not agree to the change, then usually the status quo remains until the party requests a hearing with the judge in order to reach a decision.

If the school district change is granted, who is responsible for the additional driving? If the driving is done during your parenting time then you are responsible. Prior to agreeing to any school change, it is best to examine your different options.

Look into if this works for your schedule, if your child can take a bus, etc. If any of these are real concerns of yours then you need to compromise with your ex.

One option is to agree to the school change if she agrees to pay for a portion of the before- or after-school care costs and gas expenses you will incur.

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5 comments on “Changing School Districts With Joint Custody

    I have joint custody but has my son during all school days he has them weekends I would like to move 20 miles away and take my kids out of a school that is a 3 in school ratings to an 7 state rated school I have told my son’s father and told me I can’t move I’m writing a letter to the judge…..would they really stop me from moving

    Odd, I will tell you in california unless there is an extreme safety reason for it, judges will not allow a child to move out of the school district area. Ex moves out of area, kids then go to other parent during school week.. Pretty simple here…many other things are screwed up, but this issue is pretty straight forward

    My ex wife and I seperated in 2009. Since then we have had a, 1 week with his mom and 1 week with me, arrangement. In 2012, our divorce was final and the same custody agreement was decreed. She has since pulled him out of the school he was in and moved to another school district within the county required in the divorce and is now suing me in attempt to amend the custody agreement. She constantly questions everything we do in our home because I work and so does my current wife, just because my ex doesn’t work and can stay at home doesn’t mean our 7 year old son is neglected or misses out on anything. My current wife and I have a 13, 12, 11 year old children as well. They all get to participate in outside school activities and we attend them all the time. Yes we are very busy, but that is our lifestyle. I take them all to dentist appts and medical checkups routinely. We even drive him 37 miles every morning during our week to his new school that his mom enrolled him in, without asking, and unenrolled him in the one close to our homes. Then six months later she moved into the new school district. I think this is a waste of time and money. Im not sure what will happen since i am the Dad and everyone seems to think the courts side with moms.

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