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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1  
Old 10-27-2009, 09:12 AM
HappyMomma HappyMomma is offline
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Default What school should they attend? PLEASE HELP!

I need some help quickly.

When my ex and I separated he insisted that the girls be kept at their current school to minimize the changes going on in their lives. I agreed and filled out the transfer application - they were accepted and are currently at that school.

I purchased a house not far from their school but not within the school boundaries.

When my ex started looking for a place to live he decided to rent a townhouse close to his work instead of near where the girls go to school. He is now finding it extremely difficult to drive them to/from the babysitters and now wants to transfer them to a school near him. I want to move them to the school near our house. It is just a 2 minute walk up the street. In addition, they are on the waiting list for childcare at that school (and at the school they are currently attending) and will definitely be accepted come next September.

I don't think they should be schooled near him for the following reasons:
1. They have lived in this area for the last 2 years and although we live in a different neighbourhood now they are still close to their friends.
2. He rents and could move somewhere else. He is in construction and works all over the city. Then the girls would need to change schools again.
3. I believe it is important that they go to school close to where they live so they can make friends in their neighbourhood.

If we put them in a school somewhere between the two of us they would be designated transfer strudents. Being transfer students at a school means they are not treated the same as the other students - ie: they are not eligible for bussing - they have to apply for empty seats, etc. There are a whole host of issues with being transfer students that we've already run into.

My problem is - how the heck to I resolve this? We have no written agreement. He had a draft written up which I had reviewed by a lawyer and agreed to but he won't sign it now. Can I go to the court and ask for some kind of ruling to allow me to put them in the school near me?

What should I do??
  #2  
Old 10-27-2009, 10:05 AM
canniiee canniiee is offline
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Are you on decent speaking terms with your ex? I would try to avoid court (and legal fees) this seems like something you could work out. And you can't just "go to court" and get an order, especially if he is contesting it, it is a lengthy process and it will cost you both in legal fees, it really would be better to settle this amongst yourselves.

Why can't the kids stay in the school that they are at? Is it just because HE finds it difficult to get them back and forth? Neither my ex or I live within the boundaries of the school my kids go to, but they are in the daycare centre at the school so that's how they are able to stay.

I would try to talk it out with your ex, I don't think the kids should change schools, changing schools is a huge deal for kids, especially younger ones. Try to come up with a reasonable solution, and where would the kids go to daycare if they went to school near him? How old are the kids? Do you do one week on and one week off? My kids found it difficult (at first) for the one week on one week off, they are with their Dad now primarily, as it was best for them at the time.

If he's having a hard time transporting them, maybe you can come up with a different access schedule, he may not like it but he SHOULD think about whats best for the kids. and imo changing schools is NOT best for the kids....
  #3  
Old 10-27-2009, 10:31 AM
HappyMomma HappyMomma is offline
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The problem is we can't talk. He's accusing me of not caring about their best interest. The girls are 3 and 5. He wants to move them because the drive is too much and costs him a lot of money in gas. It's also hard on the girls because he has to get them up early. I've offered many times to let him drop them off with me in the morning so he doesn't have to get them up as early but he refuses. And he would NEVER allow me to take them on his days.

He doesn't see that this is all because he made a bad choice on where to live. He finds ways to blame me instead.

I REALLY need to get this resolved.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:40 AM
HappyMomma HappyMomma is offline
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Should I stop by family court and ask to speak with someone there?
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:13 PM
canniiee canniiee is offline
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What a jerk, he's totally not thinking about the best interest of the kids, its his problem if he moved far away, but they should not change schools.

Yeah, if you can stop in the courthouse and speak to Duty counsel, or contact a family lawyer, many of them will see you for 30 minutes to an hour for free and advise you on your situation. But I can tell you now that if this were to go to court, a judge won't change the kids schools, as it is NOT in their best interest....
  #6  
Old 10-27-2009, 12:55 PM
HappyMomma HappyMomma is offline
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I want the girls moved to the school near my house. The reason being we are having many problems with the fact that they are transfer students. I had to leave work for 2.5 weeks to take them to and from school because they were not allowed on the bus. In addition, they ended up in afternoon classes because transfer students get no priority and it is wreaking havoc on them. They are just exhausted.
They play in the park at the school near our house quite frequently so it is at least familiar to them. And I think it is VERY important for children to have friends in their own neighborhood to play with. When you attend a school in a different neighborhood it is difficult to make friends with the children near your home. My son had this difficulty growing up. And I would prefer they make the change now as they are just starting school. They'll have the next 8 years to spend in their own neighborhood, riding bikes with their friends and making a connection with their community.
  #7  
Old 10-27-2009, 01:00 PM
canniiee canniiee is offline
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I totally agree, a judge I think is more inclined to keep the kids in the neighbourhood that they have grown up in, I would highly suggest consulting with a lawyer or duty counsel, but for sure do not allow him to change neighbourhoods, especially just because your ex finds it too hard, he should have thought about that before he moved, he is not thinking of the best interests of the kids.
  #8  
Old 10-30-2009, 03:07 AM
first timer first timer is offline
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I am having a similar issue, let me know what you think. Sold the matrimonial home that was in our kids school district. Both parents bought homes in the same area, about 5 minutes apart however our kids are still in their old school which is not the school in our new district. Now here is the dilemna. One child will be entering into high school in Sep 2010. The other child will be going to grade 4. One child is going to be in the high school in our district while the other child will still be in the old district. There is an elementary school next door to the high school where the oldest child will be attending next year. Should we consider approaching the other parent to see if it is a better solution to have both kids in the same school district, where they can walk home together in the afternoon. It would be about a 5-7 minute walk to both homes. They currently walk home from their elementary school together which is about a 20 minute walk.
  #9  
Old 10-30-2009, 03:23 AM
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Sorry forgot about replying to your question, got caught up in my own. Because your ex did the moving, he should not feel entitled to uprooting his kids too. I have a blended family, 2 divorcees and 3 kids. My 17 year old goes to school where I live. When her father moved to Quebec (we live in Ottawa), she felt like he left her because she saw him alot less. Before his move he lived up the street from us. She felt like she had 2 parents everyday because she would go back and forth between our homes everyday. Now she sees him perhaps on the weekends. She is almost finished high school and will be going off to university after. Her dad's major regret is that he lost out on alot of time with her because he moved away from her. So you think he would take responsibility for his moving but no, its my fault according to him because I should have agreed to let her go to school in Quebec so she could have lived with him. Our agreement specifically stated that in order for our child to switch schools both parents must agree and sign off on the school move. Lucky for me I had this clause in the agreement. He still after many years feels it is my fault that he has a difficult and fractured relationship with his daughter. Go figure. Do what you feel is best for your kids and don't look back.
  #10  
Old 10-31-2009, 08:55 AM
HappyMomma HappyMomma is offline
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Thank you. I am definitely going to put my foot down on this one. Unfortunately, we don't have ANY agreement so he 'could' just move them. I don't think he realizes that though.

It boggles my mind how some people can blame others for their own stupid mistakes. It's incredibly frustrating to deal with as well. He constantly tells me how I don't care about them because I won't move them closer to him.
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