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Educational Decision Making

Given the amount of time children typically spend receiving a structured education, decisions concerning education are often the most impactful and consequential decisions parents may make for their children. Decisions concerning whether the child will be home schooled or attend public or private school, which course of study a child will engage in, and whether the child will be allowed to enroll in advanced classes are all decisions that should be discussed and  made by both co-parents, unless shared parental responsibility is not appropriate. Other decisions that a parent with final decision making authority regarding education may make include: which school the child should attend, which school district the child should be enrolled in, which electives (such as health, sex education, or industrial technologies) a child may take, and whether a child may take advantage of a school sponsored field trip or other academic outing.

In the situation where shared parental responsibility with final decision making authority is agreed to by the parties or ordered by the court, one party will have final say on decisions regarding education. Although one parent has been granted final decision making authority in the area of education, this does not mean that the other parent is not entitled to receive communication or information from the school concerning the child or children involved. Each parent, regardless of which has been awarded final decision making authority in the area of education, is entitled to receive all communications, such as notices regarding their child’s academic performance, and to attend all conferences, such as parent-teacher conferences, as the parent with final decision making authority. In fact, the parent who has not been awarded final decision making authority should request that he or she receive a copy of all correspondence and notices from the school to ensure that he or she remains fully apprised of the his or her child’s academic well-being.

Education decision making can be a crucial part of Parental Responsibility due to how critically important it is for children. Therefore, it's always best to speak with an experienced Tampa or Orlando divorce lawyer. 


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