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Divorcing Parents and Joint Education Decisions



Most parenting plans for divorced or separated parents require the parents to make major decisions regarding the children jointly. One of the most important is choosing which school a child will attend.


Parents approach this issue with many different priorities and must avoid trying to force the other parent to “parent like I do”. Many parents believe school choice is a simple matter of listing available schools and comparing their academic ratings on a website. Those ratings can be very persuasive, and may even be the determining factor in some cases. Some parents simply want to choose the school closest to their home. Usually, the best decision is not that simple.


If the decision is left to a Colorado court, the judge is likely to want to know more than how a particular school rated in a survey or academic review. The court will consider whether the child has friends attending each school, distance from each home, engagement of each parent with the respective schools, any needs specific to the child, and how any of the child’s specific needs might be better met by a particular school (for example, special education or language needs).


Divorced or separated parents should consider every possible benefit and disadvantage of each school under consideration, and be ready to discuss which of those factors are most important to them and why. Understanding each parent’s primary concerns and desires underlying a particular school choice often reveals overlap, and can lead to a better decision for the child.


About the Author:

Vernon Ready is an award-winning Colorado lawyer with an in-depth understanding of all areas of family law, estate planning, and personal injury. His energetic and aggressive advocacy approach allow him to successfully navigate complex cases, including high asset divorce and complicated custody issues. During his time at the University of Colorado Law School, Ready won numerous awards for his trial advocacy skills. Since being admitted to practice in 2009, Ready has become well-known throughout Denver and the state for the passionate defense of his clients and his unparalleled understanding of the law.