Montreal family law firm Goldwater, Dubé understands the challenges of going back to school when you and your ex have some conflict over the choice of school.
Following a separation, the prospect of going back to school can be as daunting for parents as it is for kids. When you and your ex are in conflict over a certain school being right for your child, our lawyers at Goldwater, Dubé can help you as they have helped hundreds of families with legal issues surrounding child custody and disputes around joint decision-making.
If your child has just started a new school this year, your decision-making phase will probably have taken place months ago. However, even right at the start of the new semester, many parents and children are still unsure about whether they made the right choice.
Divorced or divorcing parents often experience conflict when it comes to the choice of school for their children, sometimes requiring Court intervention or negotiation between the parents’ respective attorneys to resolve.
Goldwater, Dubé has represented parents as well as children in these sorts of disputes. Our family law expert can help guide you through how this process works and put your best case forward.
In cases where the Court is presented with resolving a parental dispute over the choice of school for a minor child, it is guided by certain key principles.
While everything must serve the child’s best interests, the parent has the right to express their point of view as to what they feel is important for their child’s upbringing.
In this regard, the Court will consider the moral, religious, and cultural values of the parents when considering, for example, a private religious denominational school. If one parent sincerely values sending the child to a public school, this perspective also merits attention.
The financial means of the parents is also a central issue to consider and indeed, the costs associated with private schooling are often central to disagreements. Parents can make a case that it is financially unreasonable to send their child to an elite and expensive school, even if the school might better serve the child’s interests. If this argument is made, it would be important to consider any bursaries or donations from third parties that the child might benefit from to help offset the costs.
Whenever a child is involved in a legal dispute, the Court may try to suss out whether the child is caught in a conflict of loyalties or parental alienation is at play. Children sometimes find themselves trying to please one parent at the expense of their own interests or ally with the more influential parent against the other. When a parent or other interested parties make such allegations, the Court will be extra mindful to assess whether the argument over choice of school has become more of proxy power struggle between the parents rather than a true sober assessment of what the child needs. Independent voices might then become more important, such as reports issued by a child psychologist or unaligned caregivers.
If you are presented with a dispute with your ex about the choice of school for your child, you are not alone. These disputes are actually quite common and our firm has the expertise to help counsel you, negotiate on your behalf, or litigate the matter. That said, always remember that, the “best interests of the child” is the primary determining factor the Courts consider so remind yourself of the following:
If you find yourself faced with a conflict surrounding the choice of school for your son or daughter, we are here to help. We can provide sound and compassionate advice based on our wealth of experience make tough decisions easier on you and easier on your kids. Your children are your world. We will defend your rights.