Former Spouse Relations and Parental Responsibility Regarding Schooling

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Separated parents will usually share in making long-term decisions for the benefit of their children, such as where they will go to school. Where parents cannot agree or one parent wants to change a child’s school without the other’s consent, parents may seek a resolution through the Family Courts.

Do I have to consult my former spouse about day-to-day issues?

Separated parents do not have to consult about day-to-day issues such as what a child will eat or wear, or if they should see a GP.

Do I have to consult about issues like schooling?

In the absence of an order, both parents are legally responsible for their children. When making parenting orders, the Family Courts presume that parents should have equal shared parental responsibility for their children. Parents will have an equal role in making long-term decisions about issues such as schooling, religion and health. The presumption does not apply where there is family violence.

What if we cannot agree on where our child goes to school?

Where separated parents cannot agree about where their child goes to school, the Court can make an order. The Court considers a child’s best interests as the paramount consideration, not one parent’s preference. Parents must make a genuine attempt to resolve their dispute through family dispute resolution making a Court application. However, if the other parent attempts to change your child’s school without your consent, you may seek an urgent order from the Court. We can advise you about your rights.