We Can’t Agree On A School; How Will The Court Rule?

undecided school
We Can’t Agree On A School; How Will The Court Rule?

If you are separated parents who cannot agree on which school your children should attend, you must both keep certain factors in mind. We discuss what occurs when separated parents cannot agree on which school their child should attend, as well as how the court’s decision may vary depending on the care arrangement.

Common sense must prevail if you and the other parent agree that one parent is the principal carer, meaning that one parent is responsible for the day-to-day needs of the children, and the children reside with that parent. The school closest to the parent, or the school chosen by the parent, should be given precedence.

If the non-primary parent disagrees with this educational setting, justifiable reasons must be provided for why another setting should be considered. This is a situation where it would be beneficial to seek legal counsel.

Nonetheless, if there is a shared care arrangement in place so that both parents’ residences are equally where the children reside, and if the parents cannot agree on an educational setting, it is imperative to seek legal counsel, and an application to the family court may be necessary.

Initially, other channels for alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, must be tried to resolve the dispute. If no agreement is achieved, a court application should be filed.

The application would be brought under Section 8 of the Children Act 1989 and is for a particular issue application to precisely address what is best for the children’s education. Both parents must present evidence during the hearings to demonstrate how their plan is in the best interests of the children.

However, if one parent takes matters into their own hands and begins the process of changing the children’s school without the approval of the other parents, that parent must file an urgent application with the family court to prevent the children from being removed from that school. This also falls under Section 8 of the Children Act 1989 and would be for a prohibited steps order, which would ban the children from being removed from school without a court order. Any court order in this scenario would have to be delivered to the school as well as all those with parental responsibility.

In all instances and at all times, parents are actively encouraged not only to convey their wishes but also to co-parent effectively in their children’s best interests.

If you require assistance with this or any other child-related legal issue, please contact our private child team.

Avatar of DLS Solicitors by DLS Solicitors
2nd October 2023
Avatar of DLS Solicitors
DLS Solicitors

Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

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