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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 03-30-2017, 10:42 AM
bluewater bluewater is offline
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Default Changing a Final Order for child's school

Hello,

First time poster, looks like a ton of great support and advice so thank you all in advance!

I have a final order signed Aug 2016 that gives my ex and I joint custody, 50/50 access on a set schedule and that he goes to the school in my area (just started JK), let's call it Smith School for anonymity's sake. My wife teaches at another elementary school (let's call it Jones School) and wanted him to go there, and while she didn't live in that school district she claimed that she could make it work for him. This was the main point of contention in our settlement discussions. She eventually relented and sent an offer that included him going to Smith School.


Some relevant details:

-The order was done via a settlement that she proposed, so she is the one who effectively offered that he go to that school.

-I (voluntarily) pick him up from her on her mornings and bring him to his bus stop at my aunt's house. I also (voluntarily) bring him to her place on her evenings after I get him off the bus so that it's convenient for everyone.

-He gets on and off the bus with his two cousins who are his age, one of which is in his class. He is always in the care of family before and after school if I need to leave early or get back late.

-Reports from his teacher indicate that he is social and enthusiastic about learning. There have been no behaviour problems reported and he seems to love the school.

-I am also a teacher (high school) and my workplace is 15 min from Smith School, my house is 3 min.

-All of my son's family on my side lives in the area (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc) and I live in the matrimonial home where he grew up.

-My ex is frequently late for non-school pick-ups and frequently puts our son in the gym daycare on her nights with him as she is a part-time fitness model. My son has expressed his desire to not go there anymore, but she persists.

-Pick-ups and drop-offs are almost always very civil and there are no issues.


My ex has now moved into the Jones School district, where she works. She says that it would be better for our son to go to that school now since she will be in the area, but he seems settled and happy at the school he is currently in, and nothing about her moving really changes the current access or transportation regime (she moved 3km closer to me).

So...after all that my question is that since one has to prove material change of circumstances to change a final order, would this count? What are the chances that she will be able to get the final order overturned and change his school? She has as yet not submitted any paperwork to the courts, it's just threats at this point.

Sorry for the lengthy first post, I appreciate your help!
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2017, 11:07 AM
SteelCityDad SteelCityDad is offline
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I think that the maternal change would have to affect the child and her moving to another school district would not count. I am not sure about this though, but would oppose the change of school all I could and state he is fine where he is.
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  #3  
Old 03-30-2017, 11:47 AM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewater View Post
I have a final order signed Aug 2016 that gives my ex and I joint custody, 50/50 access on a set schedule and that he goes to the school in my area (just started JK), let's call it Smith School for anonymity's sake.
Final order made on consent in 2016. Parent wants to change it in March of 2017. Um... That should answer your question. It is way too soon to change anything.

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Originally Posted by bluewater View Post
she is a part-time fitness model.
None of your information regarding why the child remains in the school is relevant. What is relevant is that you made the agreement not even a year ago on consent.

Not sure how being a fitness model is relevant but, it sure did make for an interesting read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewater View Post
My ex has now moved into the Jones School district, where she works. She says that it would be better for our son to go to that school now since she will be in the area, but he seems settled and happy at the school he is currently in, and nothing about her moving really changes the current access or transportation regime (she moved 3km closer to me).
Again, my point remains. The final order made on consent only months ago. She should have moved before signing the consent order.

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Originally Posted by bluewater View Post
So...after all that my question is that since one has to prove a material change of circumstances to change a final order, would this count?
She can try but, the order is so fresh and was done on consent that she won't be successful in my opinion.

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Originally Posted by bluewater View Post
What are the chances that she will be able to get the final order overturned and change his school? She has as yet not submitted any paperwork to the courts, it's just threats at this point.
It will remain as threats because the order is so fresh and it was made on consent. I don't think a reputable lawyer would represent this claim. She can still bring it but, you will get your costs.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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  #4  
Old 03-30-2017, 12:31 PM
bluewater bluewater is offline
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Thank you both for your advice, and I'm relieved to hear it!


With the issue of the short length of time between the order on consent and the present, would it not be easier for her to try change the school sooner rather than later after the status quo is more entrenched?


Or would it be so long for the issue to get to trial (because I won't settle on this issue) that she would be kind of doomed to failure anyway since he would have been there for years at that point?


Thanks again
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Old 03-30-2017, 01:04 PM
PeacefulMoments PeacefulMoments is offline
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Would it be detrimental or positive for your son to switch over next year for SK and beyond at the school mom teaches at?

Try to first think objectively about both the pros and cons for your son more so than a legal battle to be won or lost against the other parent.
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Old 03-30-2017, 01:17 PM
bluewater bluewater is offline
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PeacefulMoments,


I see what you mean and these were issues that I struggled with during the initial settlement discussions. IMO it would be detrimental as he would be removed from his extended family support system, which he is more attached to emotionally than his mother.


His mother is a classic narcissist (according to one family counselor we both saw) who treats our son more like an accessory than a child to be raised and nurtured. Even at the age of four he frequently expresses his displeasure at having to go with her because he knows he will be ignored or put into daycare while she goes t the gym. She fought me for 50/50 because she did not want to pay me child support, not because she wanted time with him.


So...yes, objectively I think it is best for him to stay where he has a happy history growing up and in the school where he is comfortable and has made bonds with the school and his classmates.
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Old 03-30-2017, 03:08 PM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewater View Post
With the issue of the short length of time between the order on consent and the present, would it not be easier for her to try change the school sooner rather than later after the status quo is more entrenched?
Again, my point is she should have set herself up BEFORE signing the consent order. Signing a consent order makes it the status quo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewater View Post
Or would it be so long for the issue to get to trial (because I won't settle on this issue) that she would be kind of doomed to failure anyway since he would have been there for years at that point?
Again, she should have thought about this prior to signing the consent order. She established the status quo by signing it. Too bad so sad for her. She established the status quo and even agreed to it.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 03-30-2017, 03:14 PM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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Originally Posted by bluewater View Post
His mother is a classic narcissist (according to one family counselor we both saw) who treats our son more like an accessory than a child to be raised and nurtured.
BS. Your ex probably doesn't have a personality disorder. Get off that train now and move on. The counselor didn't have enough time to diagnose anything and to throw around a term like this is not professional of them at all. Clear that nonsense from your head and read this thread:

http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f...isorder-19845/

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewater View Post
Even at the age of four he frequently expresses his displeasure at having to go with her because he knows he will be ignored or put into daycare while she goes t the gym. She fought me for 50/50 because she did not want to pay me child support, not because she wanted time with him.
And you didn't take the matter to a trial to give you majority access why? Again, all BS and nonsense that you should drop and now.

As Justice Quinn stated in Gerenia v. Harb:
Undoubtedly, there are many tasks that a child, when asked may find unpleasant to perform. But ask we must and perform they must. A child who refused to go on an access visit should be treated by the custodial parent the same as a child who refused to go to school or otherwise misbehaves. The job of a parent is to parent.
Your child is too young to get to decide where they live. Also, daycare is good for kids and what the other parent does on THEIR TIME is THEIR BUSINESS. You are going to have to get used to that fact. You may not like how the other parent parents but, it is NO GROUNDS to seek sole custody and majority access. You would be wasting time and money and only create conflict where no conflict is necessary if you kept the kid with you.

Do as Justice Quinn recommends...

Good Luck!
Tayken
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  #9  
Old 03-30-2017, 03:39 PM
bluewater bluewater is offline
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Tayken,

I apologize, I think my intentions in that post may have been unclear. I have no intention of trying to get primary residence or full custody as I want my son to have a good relationship with his Mum. Despite her actions he loves her and that relationship is important to his development. I at all times encourage him (often with difficulty) to spend time with her and speak to her on the phone when he is at home. I was merely stating as to why I think his current arrangement is the most beneficial.

I would rather not get off track on the original issue. The joint custody and residency work as fine as it can, what I am concerned about is the ability of the other party to reopen the court order and change his school situation.

I appreciate your candour and willingness to give me the benefit of your advice.
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Old 03-30-2017, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
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I was merely stating as to why I think his current arrangement is the most beneficial.
They are beneficial as they were consented to by both parents. That is all the evidence you need. It falls on the other parent to demonstrate a material change in circumstance. Your order is simply too fresh to disturb. Too bad so sad for her. I wouldn't engage in any long discussion with the other parent about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewater View Post
I appreciate your candour and willingness to give me the benefit of your advice.
I just don't want you to go off track. Often when a parent gets forced back into re-litigating an issue (like you may find yourself) the ugly demons of family law come haunting. Don't let them suck you in. Simply respond in kind and don't focus on the other parent if they do bring the matter back. But, it would be a fresh application that requires a material change in circumstance... and the other parent is on the hook for demonstrating it.

Don't get overly defensive with anything said against you. That is one of the biggest things people struggle with. Just don't fall into the trap.

Be glad you got to have a child with a fitness model and move on. No doubt there is another one in your future.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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