When Parents Disagree on A Move to A New School District

Parents make many important educational decisions for their children. The right school can prepare a child for a lifetime of excellence. However, making these choices may be more complicated when parents are divorced.

In Texas, custody decrees typically include geographical restrictions. Such restrictions may also limit your child to a particular school district. At Terry L. Hart, Attorney at Law, we know that if one parent wants to move the child to a new school district but the other does not, a dispute can quickly ensue.

Which Parent Gets to Choose?

Perhaps, your child has been accepted into a magnet, STEM or Vanguard program in another district or needs special services the current school does not offer. Maybe the primary conservator wants the child to attend a private or religious school in another district. These may be compelling reasons to move to a new area with your child.

The best-case scenario is that you and your spouse can make educational decisions regarding your child by agreement, thereby obviating any dispute. If you cannot agree, the decree or order will generally specify the geographic restriction within which the child’s primary residence can be established and the parents’ respective rights to make educational decisions. The conservator with the right to designate the primary residence of the child generally would have the right to move with the child into a new school district, provided the child remains within the geographic restrictions of the decree or order. Generally, the child would attend the public school in the district in which that parent resides.

However, if the parent with the right to designate the primary residence of the child wants to move to a location outside of the area of the geographic restriction specified in the decree or order, he or she would need to obtain the agreement of the other parent or he or she would need to request a modification of the order to permit the move. The other party may then object and you would have to take your dispute back to court. There are many issues the court might consider in determining the best interest of your child, for example:

  • What are the reasons for changing the child’s school?
  • Is the child agreeable to the change?
  • How will the move to a new district affect your court-ordered visitation schedule?
  • Are there valid objections to the move?

If you and your ex-spouse are struggling to come to an agreement about moving your children into a new school district, attorney Hart is ready to advocate for you through negotiations or by presentation of a modification case to the court.

Helping Families with Tough Decisions

No matter which side of the issue you are on, lawyer Terry L. Hart knows how difficult and contentious educational issues can become. By calling 713-581-1773 or 877-576-7390 or by using the firm’s online form, you can learn how he can help you. He has experience fighting for the rights of Houston parents to protect their relationships with their children and to seek their best interests.