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Co-Parenting Disputes About School Districts


All children in Florida have the right to attend public schools, but they must attend the school located in the district where they reside.  Every year, news outlets report stories of families falsifying children’s addresses to enable the child to attend the school of the parent’s choosing; for example, there have been cases where the family lists the address of a cousin as the place where the child resides, even though the child lives with his parents on the other side of the county and has only stayed overnight at the cousin’s house a few times in his life.  While these cases of fraud are quite rare, a more frequent occurrence is that neighborhood schools are a major factor in the parents’ choice of where the family should live.  When the divorced parents of a child live in the vicinity of different neighborhood schools, then they might agree that the children should spend weeknights with the parent who lives in the zoning area for the preferred school.  If you and your ex-spouse are involved in a dispute about which school your children should attend, contact a Palm Beach County child custody lawyer.

Parenting Plan and School District Laws Make Life Complicated

Fallon and Jacorey lived in Palm Beach County together in a house they owned; they separated when their son was about three years old.  While their divorce was in process, Jacorey moved to St. Lucie County and contributed little to mortgage payments or household expenses such as utility bills.  Eventually, the house was in foreclosure and uninhabitable due to the lack of utilities, so Fallon moved in with her sister in Broward County, bringing the child with her.

While in Broward County, Fallon paid for childcare without help from Jacorey, and when the child was old enough for kindergarten, she enrolled him in public school in Broward County.  By the time the child started kindergarten, the divorce was finalized, Jacorey had returned to Palm Beach County, and the parties were back in court to resolve their disagreements over child support and over where the child should attend school.  The child was thriving in school and in after-school sports in Broward County, but the parenting plan, issued years earlier, specified that the child should attend school in Broward County.  Fallon was in a no-win situation; if she kept the child in school, she would be violating the parenting plan, but if she enrolled him in school in Palm Beach County while she, the primary residential parent, resided in Broward County, she would be breaking the law.  Therefore, the court reversed its decision on the parenting plan and ordered findings for a new parenting plan.  The court will likely decide that it is in the child’s best interest to stay in Broward County, since this would provide him with continuity.

Let Us Help You Today

A Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you resolve disputes over school enrollment, so you can maintain continuity in your child’s home life and education.  Contact Schwartz | White for help today.



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