It's difficult to decide where your children should attend school after a recent divorce. In many cases the parent both feel equally passionately about their preferred option, and as a result this can become an issue that gets resolved through the Family Court.
Here are some of the factors that the court may consider when deciding on an appropriate schooling option for the child.
Previous statement of intention
The court will look at any indications of previous intentions with regard to school, such as placing their child on the waiting list for a school. Any other evidence such as stated intentions or touring of schools, or purchasing a house with a government school catchment area could also be considered.
The best interests of the child
The court will look at the child's preferences. If the child has an interest or noted talent in an area they may favour a school with specialist resource dedicated in that area. Equally if a child has already been at a certain school for a long period of time and has an established support network including teachers and friends at the school, the court is likely to favour ruling that they continue at the same school.
An equal relationship with both parents
The court favours allowing each parent to have a mix of weekend and weekday night access to his or her child. For this reason a school that is convenient to both parents is preferable, compared to a school that is extremely convenient for one parent but inconvenient for the other parent. In many cases the best answer to this issue is for both parent to live in a reasonably close proximity to a mutually agreeable school.
The affordability of the school
In some cases following a divorce, the pressure of maintaining two households rather than one can create financial pressure around private school fees. The costs of education are apportioned through the Child Support Agency, however where a parent is making a prescribed payment such as paying school fees in lieu of school fees this can only amount to 30% of the child care cash payment. The full amount of school fee and relatively affordability will be considered by the court when making any decisions with regard to school.
If you and your ex-spouse are current negotiating school options it can be useful to get legal advice from an experienced law firm like Bell Lawyers. They can help you discuss a range of option from mediation to Family Court proceedings.