How well do you know Virginia geography? Name something unique and wonderful about Quantico. Sure, you could say the Marine Corps base, or the training academy of the FBI, but what is really wonderful is that three of Virginia’s four best magnet schools are in Quantico, according to Public School Review. Transferring your child to another school while knee-deep in a family law issue depends on TK factors.
Before you engage with legal professionals to resolve a separation, divorce, or child custody issue, you may have a narrow window of opportunity to transfer your children to another school.
If you and the children’s mother live apart but both reside in the same school district, you may be able to transfer your child to the appropriate Virginia public school within your region’s school division, according to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
For example, Virginia Beach has 53 Pre-K through grade 5 elementary schools. If your family home was near Windsor Oaks Elementary, but your apartment is by Three Oaks Elementary, you would need only show that:
- a) The children now reside with you; and
- b) Your legal address is within Three Oaks Elementary’s jurisdiction
Such a transfer might, admittedly, be temporary. since permanent child custody cannot be decided until the divorce decree. If the child’s mother agrees to a transfer during the separation period, nothing in VDOE prevents the transfer.
The situation changes entirely if you are attempting to transfer them out of a school district, to some other Virginia school region or division. Your attorney will probably advise you not to move the children during separation, since the final divorce decree will determine child custody, visitation, and jurisdiction.
During Your Separation
After the separation waiting period for filing for divorce (six months with no children; a year with children), you and the children’s mother are then in the process of getting divorced. During that time, pendente lite orders (court orders pending litigation) may decree that the children are to remain in their current school district.
Other pendente lite restrictions could include:
- Limits on travel intrastate or interstate with the children
- Prohibitions on traveling outside the United States with the children
- Prohibition on relocating the children’s home
- Temporary child custody
- Temporary child visitation schedules
Your attorney will also take into consideration the psychological effects on the children of any attempt to transfer them. They are legally unable to make their own decisions, so you must show evidence that you hold their best interests above your own.
Why do you want to transfer them? Is such a transfer to benefit them or ease your schedule? Who benefits, and who suffers? If you cannot offer a compelling, child-centered reason to transfer them during your divorce proceedings, do not do it.
After Divorce Finalization
After the divorce is final, the divorce decree issued by the Virginia Circuit Court judge will spell out two important features:
- Which parent has physical custody of the children
- Which parent has legal custody of the children
If you somehow get both full physical and legal custody of your children, Virginia’s courts give you their blessing to do with them what you think is in their best interest. Enroll them in Quantico’s Crossroad Elementary School; send them to Dodea Virtual High School. So long as you observe the terms of the divorce decree (parenting time, visitation schedules, child support), you decide what is best for your children.
If you do not have physical or legal custody of your children after divorce, you cannot make decisions on their schooling. Assuming the court saw fit to grant physical and legal custody exclusively to the children’s mother, she has the decision-making responsibility, not you.
If, though, the court provided for joint custody (physical or legal), you and your attorney have room to exert influence on the children’s educational choices.
The children’s mother cannot transfer the children without your input, and you cannot transfer the children without her input. You both must agree on any school transfer.
Call The Firm For Men’s Child Custody Attorneys
If a) you share physical and/or legal custody, b) one of you wants to transfer the children after the divorce, and c) one of you objects, then you will need to seek mediation to resolve the impasse.
A mediator will operate under the basic tenet of Virginia’s laws: everything is done in the best interests of the child.
If mediation fails, you and the children’s mother can return to court to get a ruling specific to the desire to transfer the children. The court will not care a whit that a transfer inconveniences one or the other parent. This attitude is codified under Code of Virginia § 20-124.3 and § 63.2-1205.
Get all your divorce, separation and custody questions answered by The Firm For Men. Contact us online or telephone our Virginia Beach offices at 757-383-9184 today!