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  1. #1
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Changing Child's School; Ex Parte and Order Shortening Time

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: CA

    My child is 8-years-old and I would like to change the location of my child's school. My child currently attends school in the city where my ex lives (we live 21 miles apart), although I am the primary caregiver and our child lives with me 70% of the time. I believe that it makes sense for our child to attend school here and not commute at least half an hour each way. I think it would be best for our child to stay with me during the week and attend school here, then stay with my ex for three weekends per month (which actually increases his time with her). Currently, our child spends every week night with me because my ex has to be at work at 6:00 a.m., Mon-Fri. And, currently, I drive our child to school every day.

    I also just started a new job that is very close to my home. What effect will this have on my request, if any?

    I had a consulation with an attorney (but can't hire him yet because I just started a new job and will have to get a retainer together), and he said I could file an Ex Parte Application for an Order Shortening Time because school will start in one month.

    What I need to know is: What is it exactly that I am asking the Court to do? Is it called something along the lines of an Order to Amend Visitation? What are the steps I need to take/forms I need to file to do this very quickly? What is the likelihood that a judge would grant my request? Thank you for any help.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Changing Child's School; Ex Parte and Order Shortening Time

    Did you create the distance?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Changing Child's School; Ex Parte and Order Shortening Time

    Originally, our child was in school where we had owned a house together. Then, my ex moved to where he now lives. I agreed to move closer to my ex to make co-parenting easier, and enrolled our child in school there, but I had a difficult time finding a good living situation in the same city as my ex. I found a nice place where my child and I have been living for almost a year.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Changing Child's School; Ex Parte and Order Shortening Time

    In all honest, 30 minutes commute time is nothing in most areas. Heck, I have a 6 year old grandchild who spends that much time 2 x day on the school bus.

    With that said, do you have joint legal custody?

  5. #5
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Changing Child's School; Ex Parte and Order Shortening Time

    I do think, though, that since there are great schools, both public and private, near my home, that it'd be better to not have the child commute. Plus, it's at least 30 minutes; often it's more. We have joint legal and physical, with me as the primary parent who has our child the majority of the time. And, I recently finished school and was finally able to land a great job close to my home. This makes commuting at least 1/2 hour each way very difficult time-wise because it would mean driving at least the half an hour to the school, back to work (during commute hours = at least 1 hour), back to pick up my child (which could be an hour or more during rush hour), then back home, because as the receiver, I am required to do the majority of the driving (because my ex was always late dropping our child off, so the judge ordered the receiver to do most of the picking up - and since our child stays most nights with me, that makes me the receiver almost all of the time.) This would mean my spending 2-3 hours (possibly more) commuting every single weekday; and causing my child to spend even more time in the car because I wouldn't be able to do the pick up during non-commute hours.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Changing Child's School; Ex Parte and Order Shortening Time

    You could always allow dad to be the primary. That would solve your problem completely without having to disrupt kiddo's school schedule. Failing that, car time is also excellent homework and/or parent-child time. That's something we learned as we went along, too.

    I see no reason for a ex parte motion, certainly - I have no idea why the attorney would have told you that. There's no emergency here.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Changing Child's School; Ex Parte and Order Shortening Time

    The problem is that my ex cannot be there in the mornings to do the morning routine or take our child to school. I have always been the parent to do that and can still do that with my new work schedule.

    Also, the Ex Parte was brought up because the new school year will start in a month and I just started my new job today (which is incredibly lucky in the job market), and the time to do this is very limited. I couldn't have done it before now because I wasn't permanently employed until now.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Changing Child's School; Ex Parte and Order Shortening Time

    By all means file to amend the current plan - just don't expect it to be heard either on an ex parte basis or by the beginning of the school term.

    But you've just said, that you can STILL do pick up and drop off even with your new work schedule. That's likely going to be the basis of Dad's argument.

    Any reason he won't agree so you can just file a stipulated agreement with the courts?

  9. #9
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Changing Child's School; Ex Parte and Order Shortening Time

    Sorry, I should have been more clear: if my child is attending school near my home, then I can still do pick up and drop off for school. It will be very difficult to do that if my child stays in the same school because I will be required to drive 2-3 hours per day every week, and my child will be sitting in the car for an hour or more every week day. I have been spending all of my child support on gas and car repairs because of the amount of driving I'm required to do.

    He won't agree because 1) He's still incredibly angry about the divorce; 2)he won't agree with any plan I come up with (yes, it's true); 3) he believes that the school our child currently attends is better than anything else out there (it's a private Catholic school), and won't consider any alternative, even a Catholic school that is 1.6 miles from my home.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: Changing Child's School; Ex Parte and Order Shortening Time

    1. That happens, sadly

    2. So does that

    3. You have joint legal - and honestly, you've CHOSEN to accept a job somewhere else. That is - legally - not his problem. Given that kiddo is in a decent private school - with presumably a good record, no problems? - I honestly think you'll have an uphill battle on your hands because essentially this isn't about what's convenient for you. It's about what's best for kiddo.

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