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Who Gets To Decide Where The Kids Go To School?

Published on July 16th, 2015

Custody cases can be very complex and complicated depending on the parties involved. Some parents are able to arrive at a mutually acceptable custody agreement that allows both parents to continue being an active participant in their child’s life. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and the court must intervene to decide custody issues for the best interests of the child. One issue that can arise when parents cannot agree on the terms of custody is which parent will have the authority to decide where the kids go to school.

Deciding Custody Issues in Illinois

Judges consider several factors when deciding custody issues including but not limited to:

  • The physical, emotional, social, and moral needs of the child and the parents;
  • The home environment provided by each parent;
  • The relationship between the child and the parents as well as the relationship between the child and other important parties in the child’s life;
  • The preference of the child, depending on the age of the child;
  • Any history of domestic abuse or violence; and,
  • Other relevant factors that relate to what is in the child’s best interest.

Illinois family law allows a judge to give parents legal and physical custody depending on the needs of the child. Both parents could share legal and physical custody, one parent could have sole legal and physical custody, or legal and physical custody could be split between the parents where one parent has legal custody and the other parent has physical custody.

The dynamics of the custody arrangement will depend greatly on the circumstances of the case, the child’s needs, and the parents.

How Does Physical And Legal Custody Play A Part In Where The Kids Go To School?

When it comes to deciding where the kids go to school, there can be a conflict between physical and legal custody. Sole legal custody gives that parent unilateral power to make decisions that affect the child’s life such as healthcare, religion, extracurricular activities, and education (i.e. where the kids go to school).

However, where the child resides (physical custody) typically determines what school district the child will attend unless that child is attending a private school or being homeschooled. You could potentially have a situation where one parent has physical custody and the other parent has legal custody but the parents live in different school districts. This could create a problem if the parent with legal custody does not want the child to attend school in the district where the child resides.

This is a rare occurrence, as judges do not want to create a situation where kids will be caught in the middle of two warring parents over where the kids go to school. In most cases, if sole custody is awarded, the parent will have both physical and legal custody so the issue of who will decide where kids go to school is moot. In the case of joint custody, the parents work together to make the decision where the kids go to school.

If you are facing a custody battle or circumstances have changed making the current custody arrangement unfavorable for you and/or your child, contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys. We are here to help protect your rights and protect the best interests of your child.

Contact Our Office for a Consultation with an Experienced Illinois Family Law Attorney

The child custody lawyers of Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols represent individuals who are dealing with tough family court issues. We assist clients throughout McLean, Woodford, Tazewell, and Peoria counties by providing compassionate, competent legal services. Contact our office at 309-938-4838 to schedule your free consultation.

When you need the assistance of an experienced family law lawyers in central Illinois, call Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols. We are dedicated to providing our clients with exceptional service and support throughout the child custody process.

Don Pioletti

Don B. Pioletti, Jr. was born on August 2, 1946 in Washington, Illinois. He graduated from Eureka High School and received a Bachelor’s Degree from Eureka College in 1970. He served in the Army during the Vietnam War and then graduated from George Mason University Law School in 1976. He served as an Assistant Illinois Attorney General and as an Assistant State’s Attorney. From 1990 until July of 2014 he served as the Woodford County Chief Public Defense Attorney.
Don Pioletti

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