With the arrival of summer, It is important to think about one of the most emotional and divisive issues that California parents have to deal with in a child custody action: School Selection. It is very common in the Sacramento County Family Court for parents to be arguing a dispute as to what school their child will be attending in the last few weeks of summer vacation. Each parent can have a very strong opinion as to what school their child should attend.
This cases will frequently arise where the parents have moved after the separation and there is a dispute as to what school the child will attend. School selection issues can be very emotional and put excessive pressure on the children if they are not handled property.
The most common dispute will be where a child will be going to a higher level school such as transitioning from Middle School to High School. Each parent may have their own opinion as to what is the more appropriates school for the child. In situations where the parents share Joint Legal Custody, the Court must make the school decision if the parents do not agree.
One of the most important factors that the Court will consider will be the schools test scores on statewide standardized tests. These scores can be easily found on most school district web pages. A Court will generally favor sending the child to the school with the strongest rankings. It is a good idea for a parent to examine the test scores of the other parent's proposed school before bringing a school enrollment issue to Court.
The Judge will often take into consideration the Child's preference as to what school her or she would like to attend. The Court will want to base its decision on the child's maturity and the level of sincerity of their choice of schools.
A child's choice of school will often be taken into account if they want to enroll in a school with a unique academic or extracurricular program. Some schools in the Sacramento Area have outstanding special programs in Science or Technology that may appeal to certain kids. Other schools are very well know for their Music or Drama programs.
The Court will generally take the child's wishes into account if that student has a serious desire to attend certain schools.
The most important point for parents facing a school enrollment problem is to remember to not wait until the last minute. Parents may often believe that they are in agreement as to what school to enroll the child in when there is no such agreement. It is important to file any motion regarding school enrollment early enough so that it can be heard by the Court before school starts.