Does The Custodial Parent Make All Education Decisions?

divorce lawyer laura langenburgQuestion:

I am still married, but I have sole physical custody of my children and I want to ensure that my children attend the schools in my school district.

If I have this form of custody, can the children go to school where there mom lives even though it’s in another district?

I want to know how to ensure my address remains their primary residency so I can choose where they go to school.


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Michigan divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.

In general, a child can attend any school within the school system where either parent resides. In other words, the child retains a legal residence with both parties and would be entitled to attend the school system for either parent’s residence.

You state that you are still married but that you have sole physical custody of your children. This would mean there is an order from the court providing you with physical custody and that the children would be living with you on a regular basis.

In this case, the children should attend the schools in your school district. If the children continue attending school and residing with their mother, this may be considered by the court a change of circumstance significant enough to change physical custody to Mom.

It is important to remember that child custody and parenting time decisions are not finite as these decisions can always be modified by the court due to a change of circumstance of the parties or children.

A change in residency where the children begin residing with the parent that was not awarded physical custody may warrant a child custody modification to reflect the actual living arrangements that is being exercised by the parties.

Also, your question states that you want to make sure that you are the parent to make school decisions for the children. This is generally a legal custody decision.

That is, if both parents are provided joint legal custody, each parent has equal decision making ability in major decisions for the child, including medical, religious and educational decisions.

If the parties have joint legal custody, than the non-custodial parent can object to a custodial parent’s educational decisions for the children and vice versa. However, please be aware that children generally attend the school system of the parent awarded physical custody

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Ann Arbor Divorce Lawyer Laura D. Langenburg, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Does The Custodial Parent Make All Education Decisions?

    This is great information. I live in Michigan and my ex and I both have joint legal custody and joint physical custody. We both live in different school districts and both want out daughter to go to a school within our district. Who gets to make the decision regarding where she goes? Is this something we will have to go to court to decide? Our divorce judgement does not specific who has primary residence.


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