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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 06-14-2019, 10:41 PM
opticnerve opticnerve is offline
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Default How to stop ex changing child's school?

Exw and I have been separated (not divorced) for three years. We have joint custody and 50:50 child sharing of our daughter (9 years old). Our separation agreement was drafted by my exw and I signed it cause I agreed with it and we were amicable. At the time, a child sharing arrangement was not decided nor included in the agreement. We soon went to a 60:40 split for sharing. Things between us were amicable and we had a great coparenting relationship. Then my exw's bf enters the picture. Things quickly became sour. He is going through an acrimonious separation with lawyers. Since September 2018 my exw and I have a 50:50 split. There was no documentation (amendment or otherwise) of the child sharing arrangement ever, and my exw refuses to acknowledge our current 50:50 after my repeated requests. My exw also refuses to acknowledge that we have joint custody and repeatedly violates my right as having part custody. She makes all important decisions for our daughter without consulting me. My exw and bf live together and moved to a house 40km outside our daughter's school catchment area. Our daughter loves her school and has many cherished friends. Her mother and I both drive her to school and pick her up on our respective days. I've asked my exw to keep her at this school until she graduates grade 8, regardless of moving to her new home. My exw and her lawyer have told me that she will move our daughter as she sees fit and its in the our daughter's best interests. She said that I have no rights as her father and no say. Recently, I have heard my daughter mention a school near her mother's that her mother has been trying to convince her of going to. My daughter does not want to change schools and has made it clear to her mother and I that she would not want to. I contacted the school to inform them of our joint custody and that I do not agree with any move to that school. The school assured me they would inform me if the mother attempted to and would need proof of custody in a separation agreement. Tonight, my exw sent me an email telling me she has registered our daughter at that school as she feels its her best interests. She told me to stop calling the school about it. She has told me I can't do anything to stop it, that that is where our daughter is going to school whether I like it or not.

What recourse do I have?
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:25 AM
tilt tilt is offline
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It sounds like they are playing hardball and conversation is going nowhere. File in the court for shared custody and for child to remain in her current school. Since you had a kitchen table agreement it sounds like you need to file an Application.

Create a calendar of the past year of where you daughter has been living (backed up with documentation if it is possible like txts conforming exchanges/photos etc. Status quo is pretty powerful to a judge. Your guiding principle is what is in your daughters best interest - which is usually stability and remaining in the same school. Try to file ASAP as the courts move slow. You can get legal advice for free from FLIC, or most lawyers offer a one hour consult for around $300.
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:47 AM
opticnerve opticnerve is offline
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Thank you for your advice. Yes it is hardball. I was thinking of a court order too. On Monday, I will be contacting the new school to remind them of my position and share my version of the separation agreement that states we have joint custody. My exw said she gave the school our separation agreement already and am unsure why the school would accept it as it states we have joint custody, and school knows I disagree. A side note, exw had our agreement notorized and never shared a copy with me. She only gave me a draft. I will also be contacting a lawyer for advice Monday.
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:51 AM
opticnerve opticnerve is offline
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Does anyone have a web link to a how-to file with court?
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:45 AM
tilt tilt is offline
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If you are going to a lawyer they will handle it. The court system is basically filling out a LOT of forms and a LOT of time.

Gather all your documentation proving how attached your daughter is to the current school/community and how staying there is in her best interest. If the mother is 40km away how is your daughter registered at school your address or a cross-boundary waiver? There is a lot of info in this forum so go through old threads.
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Old 06-15-2019, 12:50 PM
opticnerve opticnerve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post
If you are going to a lawyer they will handle it. The court system is basically filling out a LOT of forms and a LOT of time.

Gather all your documentation proving how attached your daughter is to the current school/community and how staying there is in her best interest. If the mother is 40km away how is your daughter registered at school your address or a cross-boundary waiver? There is a lot of info in this forum so go through old threads.
Thanks. Will do. My exw moved 40 km away and registered her in a school near her new house. So she's using her address to register her.
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:09 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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The current school has someone’s address on file. Is it yours (local) or hers (cross-boundary request required)? Clarify with the current school and if possible get ithe home address transferred to your address. Any verbal communication you have with the schools (new or old) follow up with an email encapsulating the conversation and actions agreed to.

And in my opinion, and the opinion of many judges, 40km is too far apart for 50/50 parenting time. Kids don’t need that type of daily commute. Draft up an offer of you having primary weekly parenting time and she can have every weekend (if you are ok with that). The 40km move is not a slam-dunk black mark against her. I have read cases where the argument is better schools, bigger house, relationship with new step siblings etc.
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Old 06-15-2019, 01:49 PM
opticnerve opticnerve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tilt View Post
The current school has someone’s address on file. Is it yours (local) or hers (cross-boundary request required)? Clarify with the current school and if possible get ithe home address transferred to your address. Any verbal communication you have with the schools (new or old) follow up with an email encapsulating the conversation and actions agreed to.

And in my opinion, and the opinion of many judges, 40km is too far apart for 50/50 parenting time. Kids don’t need that type of daily commute. Draft up an offer of you having primary weekly parenting time and she can have every weekend (if you are ok with that). The 40km move is not a slam-dunk black mark against her. I have read cases where the argument is better schools, bigger house, relationship with new step siblings etc.
Wow, really eh? That's the ex's argument -- bigger house. Ok, will email the school reiterating what was verbally discussed and my stance. Good idea about drafting an arrangement weekday/weekend sharing. The current school address is my house.
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  #9  
Old 06-15-2019, 02:50 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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Get a copy of the school registration and the contact info for her current school and provide that as well as the separation agreement stating joint custody to the new school.

Your email to the new school, cc’d to the current school principal, should be polite and brief:

My name is ... and my daughter’s name is.... I have joint custody of NAME since DATE as you can see in attachment 1. My daughter currently attends SCHOOL, CITY and her residence is with me in CITY as you can see in attachment 2. I understand my co-parent, NAME, may have registered our daughter at your school, NEW SCHOOL NAME, CITY. I have not given my consent for my daughter to change residence or school and my intention is to keep our daughter in her present school, which she has attended since YEAR. Please contact me with any questions. Add your phone number under your signature.

That’s it. Keep it super brief.
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  #10  
Old 06-16-2019, 02:11 PM
opticnerve opticnerve is offline
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That’s super! Thanks so much! The ex alleges she’s already provided the new school with our separation agreement.
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