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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    4

    Default School District - Legal vs Physical Custody

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

    My ex-husband and I share physical custody. He only sees her every other weekend during the school year and we split the summers. He drives her to school two days out of the month. However, he has just been awarded full legal custody. I'm extremely afraid he's going to change her school next year just so he won't have to drive as far those two days out of the month. Legally, I understand this is his right. However, I don't feel it's fair to my daughter as she loves the school she's in. She's 9 and the school she's in now is rated extremely high in comparison to the one in his school district, going by NECAP scores. If it was a better school, I would sacrifice the drive, but it's just not a good school. I want to know if there's anything I can do to assure she will stay in the school she's in without it getting messy and turning into yet another custody battle.

    Also, I live in a town with no middle school or high school, which gives my daughter the choice of school. Would she be able to have a say in what school she goes to when she starts 7th grade (she'll be turning 12 over that summer), or will my ex-husband be the one to say?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: School District - Legal vs Physical Custody

    If he was given the exclusive right to make this type of decision relating to the child, unless and until the court says otherwise it's exclusively his decision to make.

    How far apart do you live?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    4

    Default Re: School District - Legal vs Physical Custody

    We live about 30 miles apart. I understand he can change her school, but would it be realistic to file a motion that because there is a choice, she should go the best school available to her so long as it is within X number of miles from our residences? I feel that's fair, but I'm not sure if a judge would approve it.

    Also, since I no longer have legal custody, do I still have the right to parent teacher conferences, sign permission slips, report cards, see her medical records, etc. She's with me the majority of the school year, so if there's a field trip, it would make sense to me that I should at least be aware of any trips.

    On another note, we both represented ourselves pro se. I requested in writing twice that he mail me his response to my original motion, but I never received it and I believe there’s more he’s filed with the court that I am not aware of. Two sitting judges dismissed themselves from the case because they answer to the county and his wife is an employee of the county. The judge allowed hearsay evidence, even though I objected to it and during the judges final reading he stated my ex did not go to parent teacher conference due to notice conflicts, even though I gave my ex three weeks’ notice of the date and he never even contacted the school until after the trial. Is this enough for a mistrial and to move the case to a different county? I want to move it regardless because of his wife’s connection to the county. I feel this really biases the situation. Are these realistic steps?

    Thank you.

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