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Michigan Family Law Blog

How Do I Change My Child's School if I am Divorced in Michigan?

Posted by Cameron Goulding | Jun 06, 2024 | 0 Comments

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

In some cases the divorce is the end of the marriage and the parties are able to move on without any further required court intervention.  In many cases however, there are continuing conflicts or other issues that may arise after the divorce which require court intervention.  One post-divorce issue that often arises is where the child should attend school..  This comes up when one parent believes that a change of schools or school districts would be good for the child but the other parent wants the child to remain in the same school district or the parents otherwise cannot agree upon where to send the child to school.  This blog is intended to broadly address the issue of how to handle where the child will attend school when the parents disagree.  If you have questions regarding your own child's education, please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a consultation, either by clicking on this link or by calling us at (248) 608-4123.

How Do I Change My Child's School If I am Divorced in Michigan?

If you have sole legal custody, then you have the right to enroll the child in whatever school you believe is best for the child so long as one of the parents resides in the school district or the child is otherwise eligible to attend this school (this does not include private schools where it would require the other parent to pay some or all of the tuition, that is the subject of a future blog).  However in the vast majority of cases, the parents share joint legal custody.  This means that both parents must agree upon where the child will attend school or the court will make the decision for the parents.

If you are not able to agree upon where the child should attend school and you are the parent interested in changing the school or school district from where the child is currently enrolled, then you will have to file a motion with the court.  The court will then have a hearing date and determine whether the allegations contained in the motion and the other parent's response to that motion require the court to conduct a further inquiry into the case.  If the court does not find that between the allegations and the response from the other side, there is not enough of a reason to change the schools, then the court will summarily dismiss the motion.  If the court believes that there is enough of a question raised in the motion and response, then the court will schedule an evidentiary hearing where both sides will be able to present evidence and witness testimony to the court, after which the court will make the decision as to where the child should attend school.  The parent trying to change or modify the school or school district will have the burden of proving that the change will be in the best interest of the child.  If the issue arises before the child has started kindergarten, then both parties have a burden to prove that one school or school district is the better option for that particular child.

These types of cases are fact driven and can be very complicated, further, it can take some time to get the evidentiary hearing scheduled, so now is the time to schedule a consultation with an attorney regarding the choice of school for the child so that the child can be enrolled in the new school for fall.  If you have such concerns or questions, please schedule a consultation with us by clicking on this link or calling (248) 608-4123..  

About the Author

Cameron Goulding

A native of Oakland County, Michigan, family lawyer Cameron C. Goulding has been providing counseling and legal services of the highest caliber to individuals and families in Southeastern Michigan for over 24 years. Mr. Goulding grew up in Oakland County, Michigan and graduated from Birmingham G...


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