How important is your child’s school to your custody case?

Essentially, it comes down to this: Being actively involved in your child’s academic success won’t hurt you, but it probably won’t get the school to side with you in a custody battle either. On the other hand, if you’re somehow hindering your child’s academic progress or being lax on your parental responsibilities, it could hurt your custody case quite a bit.

Teachers and administrators are not legally required to provide letters of recommendation to judges on a parent’s behalf — and they may simply not want to take sides. From their point of view, even if you have been the only parent visibly involved in your child’s academic life, they don’t know if your child’s other parent is involved behind the scenes or not.

On the other hand, the school may not hesitate to give the court a recommendation against you if you have given staff good reason to be concerned. Problems like not enforcing the attendance policy, refusing to cooperate with efforts to get an unruly child under control or threatening the staff could have serious consequences when it comes time for the custody hearing. In addition, teachers in Florida are considered “mandatory reporters” who must notify the authorities if they have any reason to suspect that a child is being abused — and any allegation of abuse can alter the course of a custody case significantly.

So, is there any way to make all of your involvement with your child’s schooling count in a custody battle?

Absolutely.

School is a significant part of a child’s daily life most of the year, and a parent who is aware of the child’s school schedule, able to name his or her teachers, aware of any academic struggles the child is facing (and what is being done to address those issues) and has taken on the responsibility of making sure that the homework is done is going to sound more actively involved in their child’s life when it comes time to testify in front of the judge. If the other parent is genuinely not involved, he or she is going to come across that way in court as well — and that won’t help his or her case for primary physical custody.

For more information on how other factors can affect a child custody case, talk to an attorney today.

Source: achieve.luasd.net, “Dealing with Child Custody Issues,” accessed July 12, 2017