I have 50/50 custody of my children, but now my ex wants to move which will put them in another school district.
Can I block the move or prevent her from taking them out of their current school?
Where I practice in North Carolina, there are two types of custody. There is physical custody, which is where the children live, and legal custody, which determines who has the authority to make major decisions involving the children.
You have stated that you have 50/50 custody, and I therefore I assume that you have joint physical and joint legal custody.
With joint legal custody comes a duty for the parents to discuss any major decisions in the children’s lives, with the ultimate goal of reaching a mutual agreement in the best interest of the children.
Where the children will attend school is considered a major decision that should be discussed and agreed upon.
If she has made this decision without your input, she could be in violation of the court order and subject to a finding of contempt. It also may be possible to file an action with the court in an attempt to prevent her from moving the children.
If your children are doing well in their current schools and there is no reason for them to move other than the mother’s desire to live elsewhere, it may be determined that it is in their best interest to remain where they are.
I recommend that you contact an attorney in your jurisdiction as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”