Butler Giraudo & Meister
Peoria 309-407-3332
Morton 309-263-1204

Child custody and school attendance choice

It is important for children to have access to a safe and effective education. Now that Illinois schools are offering more options regarding education, some parents are divided over which educational options are in their children's best interests. This problem may be particularly tricky for divorced parents who need to decide between online or in-person school, as this issue was likely not addressed in their child custody agreements.

When two divorced parents are divided on how their child will attend school, they may be eager to learn who will get to make the final decision. This often comes back to the couple's custody arrangement. For example, if one parent has primary custody, he or she will generally be the one to make the call.

Having primary physical custody does not necessarily mean making that decision on one's own. A parent who has physical custody but shares joint legal custody must still speak with the other parent and then consider his or her opinions and concerns. For example, a parent may be worried that attending school online would negatively impact a child's mental health. Another might feel that valid concerns for a child's health might mean that physically attending school would be unsafe.

Parents who share joint physical and legal custody must agree on a solution. However, many parents tend to have strong feelings about what is best for their children regarding education, and it can be difficult to come to an agreement. While it may be difficult, it is usually worthwhile to try to find an acceptable compromise. Otherwise, the parents may end up back in court where neither will have the final say.

Although Illinois parents usually do their best to address as much as possible in their child custody agreements, there will always be unforeseen events. This can be frustrating for parents and children alike. It may be a good idea for parents who are unsure of how to address a specific parenting issue with an ex-spouse to reach out for guidance from an experienced family law attorney.

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