Home > Ask Our Experts > Ex is Changing My Daughter's School: Should I Be Consulted?

Ex is Changing My Daughter's School: Should I Be Consulted?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 21 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Ex Partner Child Responsibilty Rights

Q.

My wife, from whom I separated 20 months ago, has recently moved from the house she was renting in the same town as me to a town 11 miles away. I have just found out from my child that she is moving my 7-year-old daughter to a school in her new town from September.

Do I have any say in whether my child moves schools? We have informally agreed 50/50 shared custody of our four children and my daughter moving to this school will impact on my ability to have her to stay overnight Mon-Fri, and being able to take her to school. Many thanks for any advice you can give.

(P.W, 21 May 2009)

A.

When you separate from your partner there is always a tug of war about who can make decisions concerning your children's wellbeing. Finding out through your child that your ex is making an important decision without you is frustrating, and you probably feel like your opinions are not being taken into consideration. Not only has your ex moved your children further away, but now she is trying to change other important parts of their life.

It is unfair of your wife to make this decision without talking to you first, as you should be consulted about your child moving schools. As you were married to the mother of your child you will have legal responsibility for your child. This means that have a responsibility to provide for your child but also that you are entitled to a have a say in their upbringing and have a Right To Be Kept Informed Of Important Developments In Her Life.

Usually the distinction is that the resident parent has responsibility for everyday decisions, while the non-resident parent needs to be consulted about bigger decisions regarding their upbringing. Changing schools can be argued as an everyday decision or a major one, but either way, as you have Joint Custody your situation is a bit different as there is no one resident parent.

Although it is good to stay out of the courts, it may be better for you to formalize your custody agreement so that your rights can be recognized. As this decision will impact on your ability to care for your child it is a major one and you should be able to fight against it if you want to. Tell your wife about your concerns but, if she is unwilling to cooperate, it may be a good idea to consult your lawyer as you have a good legal case.

You do not say what your relationship with your wife is like but try talking to her (read our article on Developing An Amicable Relationship With Your Ex). You should not be hearing about things like this through your child and if you agree to joint custody, she has to realise that you need to be consulted about any decisions that she makes. Setting the ground rules now will help you both be clear about your rights and responsibilities as you move forward.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I am a mum of two children whome both have seperate dads, they stay with their dads Tuesday til Friday every week. We’ve just moved towns but the dads are refusing to compromise on moving the school so it takes us an hour to get to and from school. I also worry they won’t be able to join in with normal things growing up such as playing with school friends at home. Am I allowed to move them to a school round the corner or am I stuck by whatever dads decide?
Pluto - 21-Feb-18 @ 11:09 PM
Anutie shell - Your Question:
Hi there. I wish if some one advise us. My brother came home from work on the 22nd Dec and found his girlfriend of 6 years had left with his 2 young girls. 3 and 6 yr old. Now my brother had been to see a solicitor and advice going to court he dont know where they r or where can't contact his ex in any way at all. Reson for the split is a mistry we was toled kids and ex is fine by the police has he was very concerned about them all. He's been to the kids old school and they informed him today the oldest has started a new school but they can't say where or at. This is so hard for my brother. Hes trying every thing and just lost his job this week due to the whole events so paying solicitor is going to be so hard now but court fee is already payed and the application. We miss them so much any advice please

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. If your brother cannot afford to pay the legal fees, he can self-litigate, please see link here. If he cannot find his children, then with the C100 contact form, he would have to fill in a C4 form, which is an application for an order for disclosure of a child's whereabouts. This will allow the courts to put a trace on your brother's children and allow your brother to apply to court.
SeparatedDads - 2-Feb-18 @ 12:18 PM
Hi there. I wish if some one advise us. My brother came home from work on the 22nd Dec and found his girlfriend of 6 years had left with his 2 young girls. 3 and 6 yr old. Now my brother had been to see a solicitor and advice going to court he dont know where they r or where can't contact his ex in any way at all.. Reson for the split is a mistry we was toled kids and ex is fine by the police has he was very concerned about them all. He's been to the kids old school and they informed him today the oldest has started a new school but they can't say where or at. This is so hard for my brother. Hes trying every thing and just lost his job this week due to the whole events so paying solicitor is going to be so hard now but court fee is already payed and the application . We miss them so much any advice please
Anutie shell - 31-Jan-18 @ 8:10 PM
Karl - Your Question:
We have just recently been to court and we have got 50/50 shard care of our boys. She works in the same school to where my children go. It’s 5 mins away from me and my parents help me out taking them to school and picking them up as I work full time. My ex has told me she is now leaving the school and moving the boys away to another school. This is going to have a massive impact as now I will not be able to get the to school and back as the school will be 10miles away. This will effect my time with them as they do t be able to stop with me In The week after we have just been to court. What can I do ?

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether you think your ex is being awkward, or has a valid reason for the move. If you think she is making the move deliberately to prevent the shared-care from taking place, then you may have a case to take the matter back to court. A solicitor's letter reminding your ex of the terms of the order may also work. However, if the move is for a valid reason i.e she is moving house and therefore wishes to put the boys in a school nearby, then she may have a valid argument. Also, if your ex is deliberately making the move to thwart shared access, you may be able to apply for a Prohibited Steps Order, which prevents a parent removing their child from a school or area. You may wish to seek some legal advice regarding this.
SeparatedDads - 26-Jan-18 @ 11:39 AM
We have just recently been to court and we have got 50/50 shard care of our boys. She works in the same school to where my children go. It’s 5 mins away from me and my parents help me out taking them to school and picking them up as I work full time. My ex has told me she is now leaving the school and moving the boys away to another school. This is going to have a massive impact as now I will not be able to get the to school and back as the school will be 10miles away. This will effect my time with them as they do t be able to stop with me In The week after we have just been to court. What can I do ?
Karl - 25-Jan-18 @ 7:06 AM
Brit78 - Your Question:
Hi, just asking for some advice please.My Partners ex has decided to take their Son out of School to home School him without discussing it with my Partner and the first we heard about it was a phone call from the School to ask if my Partner knew!My Partner has Parental Responsibility due to his Son being born after 2003.His Son also stays with us for 10 days a Month too.Is the Mother allowed to just take him out of School to home School him if my Partner totally objects to it?

Our Response:
If your partner disagrees with the move, then he can either request his ex attends mediation in order to discuss this matter and if she refuses he can apply to court, please see link here. Your partner may also wish to speak to the school/LEA directly and specifiy that he does not approve. If your partner has PR, then by law he should have been consulted. A solicitor's letter to his ex and the school/LEA outlining his rights that his ex should request permission (re; PR) may also have the desired effect. if the matter goes to court, as in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
SeparatedDads - 9-Jan-18 @ 1:42 PM
Hi, just asking for some advice please. My Partners ex has decided to take their Son out of School to home School him without discussing it with my Partner and the first we heard about it was a phone call from the School to ask if my Partner knew! My Partner has Parental Responsibility due to his Son being born after 2003. His Son also stays with us for 10 days a Month too. Is the Mother allowed to just take him out of School to home School him if my Partner totally objects to it?
Brit78 - 8-Jan-18 @ 8:05 PM
Adi1984 - Your Question:
My now ex partner of 5 years just packed up and moved our son to the other end of the country overnight without even saying a word or including me in the decision, my son is 4 and has autism and she is talking about changing schools do I get a say even though we were never married. I am on my sons birth certificate and have parental responsibility.

Our Response:
If you have joint parental responsibility, your only option would be to apply to court asap. If you have PR, then your ex should have consulted you to remove your child from the area. If you refused, then she would have had to apply to court. Your ex has obviously taken the decision in her own hands. Therefore, you may wish to seek legal advice regarding whether it is worth taking the matter to court. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
SeparatedDads - 5-Jan-18 @ 2:40 PM
My now ex partner of 5 years just packed up and moved our son to the other end of the country overnight without even saying a word or including me in the decision, my son is 4 and has autism and she is talking about changing schools do i get a say even though we were never married. I am on my sons birth certificate and have parental responsibility.
Adi1984 - 2-Jan-18 @ 1:09 AM
Stokesy - Your Question:
I am a mother with joint PR. I would like to move the children to another school which is equal distance for both of us, as I work 50ks away from home. My ex husband wouldnt agree so I instigated mediation. He refused to consider changing their schools therefore mediation has been unsuccessful. I dont want this to become a court battle. How can I get him to compramise? And what are my rights as a mother that pays him child support and he contributes nothing?

Our Response:
Court is the only option when mediation breaks down and two parents cannot agree on a matter.
SeparatedDads - 28-Nov-17 @ 3:23 PM
I am a mother with joint PR. I would like to move the children to another school which is equal distance for both of us, as I work 50ks away from home. My ex husband wouldnt agree so I instigated mediation. He refused to consider changing their schools therefore mediation has been unsuccessful. I dont want this to become a court battle. How can i get him to compramise? And what are my rights as a mother that pays him child support and he contributes nothing?
Stokesy - 26-Nov-17 @ 9:53 AM
Welsh - Your Question:
My ex wife and I have joint parental responsibility for our children. Not long after our split she met another man and has since moved my children 80 miles away and to a new school without consulting me. She has since remarried. I was seeing my children 4 times a week as they only lived 5 mins away. Now I only see them once a week if I'm lucky as I can't drive (medical reasons). Was she allowed to do this (move that far away with the children) without my consent ?

Our Response:
No, if you have parental responsibility of your children she should have requested your consent. If the move has been recent, you may wish to seek legal advice in order to explore your options. However, it's a bit tricky if the move has already been made and your kids are settled in schools etc. Sometimes, the courts can prevent the move if it feels it is in the children's best interests to stay where they are. However, it is more difficult to get them back once the move has taken place. At the same time, a court will generally not prevent one parent from moving away unless the move cannot be justified. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
SeparatedDads - 28-Sep-17 @ 2:45 PM
My ex wife and I have joint parental responsibility for our children. Not long after our split she met another man and has since moved my children 80 miles away and to a new school without consulting me. She has since remarried. I was seeing my children 4 times a week as they only lived 5 mins away. Now I only see them once a week if I'm lucky as I can't drive (medical reasons). Was she allowed to do this (move that far away with the children) without my consent ?
Welsh - 26-Sep-17 @ 2:17 PM
ScottyE - Your Question:
My wife and I have been separated for nearly 3 years and have joint custody over our children. I agreed to pay a monthly amount to her for the care of the children at the point of separation and we agreed to split the cost of hobbies, etc 50:50 at the time. We have done this independently of the CSA, but I used their calculator at the time. I have often paid more than she has for these hobbies, but given we are three years on, I am not sure what the situation is concerning the payments. The children spend exactly half the time with me and I want to know why I still have to pay maintenance to her. What options do I have?

Our Response:
If you have shared-care and have a family-based child maintenance arrangement, then the amount is agreed between you both. If, for instance you decided to stop paying and your ex decided to apply to CMS, then if your ex is classed as the primary carer, i.e she receives child benefit etc, you would be assessed on the amount that you (the non-resident parent) have the children staying overnight. In such cases, CMS makes a deduction to the weekly child maintenance amount based on the average number of ‘shared care’ nights a week. Many parents who have shared-care (where both parents work and have similar salaries) agree to split the finances down the middle and one parent does not claim child maintenance. However, where one parent may work and the other is the stay-at-home parent or works part-time and deals with most of the day-to-day issues and welfare of the kids, the situation can revert back to the paying parent and the receiving parent. If you have a working family-based arrangement, your best option is to discuss mutually with your ex what you both think is fair.
SeparatedDads - 25-Aug-17 @ 12:00 PM
ScottyE - Your Question:
My ex-wife and I are separated, but have 50:50 custody of our children. I would like them to attend private school, which I have agreed I will fully pay for, but she is refusing to allow them to go and refusing to even have a conversation about what is the best outcome for them. What options are available to me?

Our Response:
If you cannot agree mutually, you would have to suggest mediation and if your ex refuses you would have to apply to court, please see link here. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. You would have to justify why you think it would be in your children's best interests to change schools. Your ex would have to justify why it is in your children's best interests not to. As a rule, the court favours stability and consistency. If your children are already established in a school and are settled, then unless there is a good reason why the children should be disrupted it is likely the court would opt for them to remain.
SeparatedDads - 25-Aug-17 @ 11:42 AM
My wife and I have been separated for nearly 3 years and have joint custody over our children. I agreed to pay a monthly amount to her for the care of the children at the point of separation and we agreed to split the cost of hobbies, etc 50:50 at the time. We have done this independently of the CSA, but I used their calculator at the time. I have often paid more than she has for these hobbies, but given we are three years on, I am not sure what the situation is concerning the payments. The children spend exactly half the time with me and I want to know why I still have to pay maintenance to her. What options do I have?
ScottyE - 24-Aug-17 @ 11:42 AM
My ex-wife and I are separated, but have 50:50 custody of our children. I would like them to attend private school, which I have agreed I will fully pay for, but she is refusing to allow them to go and refusing to even have a conversation about what is the best outcome for them. What options are available to me?
ScottyE - 24-Aug-17 @ 11:35 AM
My ex wife has transferred my kids to a new school with out consulting me. In our dissolution and in the transcripts it states we both have to make that decision together and also that my address will be used for the kids school. What is my recourse
Jay - 4-Aug-17 @ 12:28 PM
Concerned- Your Question:
Hi, me and my wife have been separated for 3 years. I've been in ESA ever since so have not paid any child support as I don't have to. I have her 2 nights every fortnight, plus come extra time during the holidays. She now wants to change our child's school but didn't inform me until it was already arranged. Does my situation count as shared parenting? And should she have consulted me before making this decision?

Our Response:
In theory, if you have parental responsibility your ex should have consulted you regarding your child's school. However, in practice this does not always happen and if you disagree with your ex's choice you would either have to suggest mediation, and if you cannot resolve the issue through mediation, if you feel very strongly, take the matter to court.
SeparatedDads - 16-Feb-17 @ 12:06 PM
Hi,me and my wife have been separated for 3 years.I've been in ESA ever since so have not paid any child support as I don't have to.I have her 2 nights every fortnight,plus come extra time during the holidays.She now wants to change our child's school but didn't inform me until it was already arranged.Does my situation count as shared parenting?And should she have consulted me before making this decision?
Concerned - 15-Feb-17 @ 6:50 PM
My ex husband decided to move my daughter school without talking to me,my daughter going to school originally from Kenosha Wisconsin,and he decided to move her in Arlington Heights school inillinois.He never talked to me about it until couple days ago. We have joint custody.What can I do.What action should I do.
Amy - 11-Dec-16 @ 3:27 PM
SAK - Your Question:
Hi all, I have continually paid maintenance for my daughter when I split from my ex wife 5 years ago, she is now looking to enroll her in a private school - will I be expected to help to pay for this even though I already pay full maintenace to her

Our Response:
If your child was already attending private school before the split, then you could be deemed to be obligated to continue payments, if the courts ordered it and you could afford to. However, it is less likely to be ordered by the court if the decision has been made by your ex to send your daughter to private school, if you object and object to paying. In other words, your ex canot demand you pay anything above and beyond your child maintenance payments, if you don't agree.
SeparatedDads - 8-Nov-16 @ 2:01 PM
Hi all, i have continually paid maintenance for my daughter when i split from my ex wife 5 years ago, she is now looking to enroll her in a private school - will i be expected to help to pay for this even though i already pay full maintenace to her
SAK - 8-Nov-16 @ 8:07 AM
My life was destroyed when my husband sent me packing, after 13 years we have been together. I was lost and helpless after trying so many ways to my husband back to me. One day at work, I was distracted, not knowing that my boss called me, so he sat and asked me what it was all about, I told him and he smiled and said it was no problem. I never understood what he meant by it was no problem getting back my husband, he said he used a spell to get back his wife when she left him for another man, and now they are together till date and initially I was shocked hearing something from my boss. He gave me an email address of the Prophet Abuvia which helped him get his wife back, I never believed that this would work, but I had no choice coming into contact with the sayings that I get done, and he asked for my information and that my husband was able to propose to throw him the spell and I sent him the details, but after two days, my mother called me that my husband was pleading that he wants me back, I never believed, because it was just a dream and I had to rush off to my mother's place and to my greatest surprise, was kneeling my husband beg mefor forgiveness that he wants me and the child back home, when I gave prophet Abuvia a conversation regarding sudden change of my husband and he made clear to me that my husband will love me until the end of the world, that he will never leave for another woman. Now me and my husband is back together and started doing funny things he has not done before, he makes me happy and do what it is supposed to do as a man without nagging. Please if you need help of any kind need, please contact Prophet Abuvia for help. His email is prophet.abuvia (AT) g m a i l. com his website is prophetabuviasolutiontemple. webs . com
Sarah Coleman - 28-Oct-16 @ 10:07 PM
I have a 15yr old son to which I have found out he doesn't attend the same school anymore. I had an appointment with the school 2wks ago for truancy. There is no court order as far as custody. He resides with his mother. Can she do this without me knowing? Should the school have gotten ahold of me about this? I did not receive a call back from the school. I will stop an get all copies of paper work an fax to my attorney. We are in the middle of divorce now. Any help I'd greatly appreciate. I reside in Pennsylvania.
lanky - 25-Oct-16 @ 10:44 PM
AllenM - Your Question:
I have a 14 yr old daughter with my ex. We separated when she was 1yrs old and I have had my daughter all weds since. During the week she lives with her mum and schools near her home.Recently the school has fallen into special measures and this has now gone on for 2 yes. My daughter has asked to leave the school and also feels she doesn't feel close to any of her schools friends. It has reached the point that she cries a lot about school and is distressed. I have spoken to another school and they are happy to take her. Ahead of talking to her mum about it I'm concerned she will say no on the grounds she just wants her near in the week. Where do I stand and if my daughter insists she wants to leave, can she?

Our Response:
This is better to be resolved between you as a family, if you can. If you can't, you may wish to suggest mediation to your ex. If your ex refuses to discuss the matter, then if you wish to pursue it, your only option would be through the courts. Please see link here. The fact your daughter is now 14 would also mean her opinion would be taken on board by Cafcass and the court.
SeparatedDads - 20-Oct-16 @ 2:35 PM
I have a 14 yr old daughter with my ex. We separated when she was 1yrs old and I have had my daughter all weds since. During the week she lives with her mum and schools near her home. Recently the school has fallen into special measures and this has now gone on for 2 yes.My daughter has asked to leave the school and also feels she doesn't feel close to any of her schools friends. It has reached the point that she cries a lot about school and is distressed. I have spoken to another school and they are happy to take her. Ahead of talking to her mum about it I'm concerned she will say no on the grounds she just wants her near in the week. Where do I stand and if my daughter insists she wants to leave, can she?
AllenM - 19-Oct-16 @ 11:46 PM
My ex and I have a 7 year old son in the first grade. She has notified me she will be moving next August and wants to switch out sons school. He has been there 2 years and loves it. He doesn't want to switch schools. She is the custodial parent and she has told me I have no say. What do you think my chances are to block it when I file a motion. We have joint custody.
Mikey - 21-Sep-16 @ 3:29 PM
PattyJune81 - Your Question:
Hi me and my Ex were never married but were together almost a decade and have 3 children together. We have no court orders or anything else on our children. He decided to move to another county and took it upon himself to enroll our children in school there. I tried talking to him but he acts like he has sole custody of the kids he does what he wants without ever consulting me first. How can I legally keep my children in this school district?

Our Response:
If you fear your ex may leave the country without your official consent (which by law he needs), then I suggest you seek legal advice asap and apply for a Prohibited Steps Order. A Prohibited Steps Order (PSO) is an order granted by the court in family cases which prevents either parent from carrying out certain events or making specific trips with their children without the express permission of the other parent. This is more common in cases where there is suspicion that one parent may leave the area with their children. We have all heard the stories of a parent taking their child for the weekend and not returning them or going abroad with them and it becoming extremely difficult for the other parent to get their child back. Thankfully, this is one of the scenarios that a PSO seeks to prevent. It is highly unlikely a court would rule to upset the children's stability if you do not agree, thus allowing them to remain in the UK. A solicitor's letter outlining the seriousness of 'abduction' should he try to remove the children without your consent may help stop him in his tracks.
SeparatedDads - 19-Aug-16 @ 2:01 PM
Hi me and my Ex were never married but were together almost a decade and have 3 children together. We have no court orders or anything else on our children. He decided to move to another county and took it upon himself to enroll our children in school there. I tried talking to him but he acts like he has sole custody of the kids he does what he wants without ever consulting me first. How can I legally keep my children in this school district?
PattyJune81 - 19-Aug-16 @ 12:57 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Sam
    Re: When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access
    Your sister was right I find you i will take bree .i find out she been hurt I will hurt you I swear on bible can’t…
    24 February 2018
  • Sam
    Re: When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access
    Hey ex do you register what you did now?...?...?i will hate for ever
    24 February 2018
  • sam
    Re: When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access
    What do you still think your a catch ?.you see through my eyes now .all I see is a joke .keep hiding loser
    24 February 2018
  • sam
    Re: When Your Ex-Partner Denies You Access
    You hide my child cheat with my uncle for years and countless other and you still could put my child on the…
    24 February 2018
  • Sam
    Re: Divorce and Perjury
    Let’s resolve our issues come to my house .i am just lonely old pensioner looking for a friend.
    24 February 2018
  • Sam
    Re: Divorce and Perjury
    Hey you talking to Gordon?bigtyon ?.are you tell my mum that I m giving you trouble ?.remember when you told her i stole his wallet?hey come…
    24 February 2018
  • Chris
    Re: Divorce and Perjury
    And for record to late for Peace.you come any where near i belt you in the street and give one for the old days bring your (big man I dare you…
    24 February 2018
  • Chri laurie
    Re: Divorce and Perjury
    Tell bree she was a mistake and if (I am her biological father)tell her I want nothing to do with her( remove my last name )I am demanding.if…
    24 February 2018
  • Chri
    Re: Divorce and Perjury
    For record ex we do judge you .remove my last name.
    24 February 2018
  • Chri
    Re: Divorce and Perjury
    And for the record ex I am on disability pension so I can’t help you sorry .and it not my problem anyway get step daddy to step up .you get…
    24 February 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SeparatedDads website. Please read our Disclaimer.