Generally, where a child attends school is a decision made after careful consideration and agreement by both parents. However, after separation, choosing or changing a child’s school can easily become a source of friction between parents.
Whilst it is not uncommon for there to be a need for children to change schools after separation, it does require either:
- The agreement of the other parent; or
- A Court Order.
This is because; education is considered a major long-term issue which the Family Law Act deems to be the joint responsibility of each parent or person with parental responsibility for the child.
If one party unilaterally changes a child’s school, the other party can bring an application to the Court. This may result in the Court reversing the unilateral decision and returning the child to the former school. Interestingly however, the parties’ prior agreement about where a child is to attend school does not carry significant weight in the changed circumstances of a family after separation.
In our experience, most parents only consider a change to a child’s education if there is a real need and they believe it serves the child’s best interests. Before taking steps to cause the change of a child’s school, we recommend obtaining independent legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances. If you would like to know more, for a fixed cost, no obligation initial consultation, contact us on 07 3262 6122.