Considering School Districts in the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

school, allocation of parental responsibilities, Aurora family law attorneyWhen parents cannot reach an amicable agreement regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities, a judge is required to make a decision based upon the best interests of a child. Among many considerations, the judge will have to decide which home is the best place for the child to live most of the time. Does the school district you live in influence that decision?

Education is One Factor

There are many different factors that go into making a decision that is in the best interest of the child. The type of education a child will receive is an important concern, but it is only one factor among many. Other factors Illinois judges look at when deciding what is in a child’s best interest include but are certainly not limited to:

  • What provides the child the most stability;
  • Mental and physical health of all involved;
  • The child’s needs; and
  • Safety of the homes and the surrounding environment

A judge is unlikely to make a decision about the allocation of parental responsibilities based solely on the quality of the schools the child may attend. Conversely, a judge is also unlikely to ignore a major difference in educational opportunities.

Importance of Stability

Often, the most important factors for the court is which home will give the child the most stability. If a child is well adjusted and thriving in one situation, a judge is unlikely to disrupt a child’s life and order a change in primary residence to allow the child to attend a “better” school.  However, if a child’s life is unstable, a judge will not hesitate to make a change to what he or she believes is a more stable situation, especially if the new living arrangement gives the child access to additional educational opportunities, such as attending a better school.

Deciding what is in a child’s best interest is a complicated analysis. Judges understand their decisions can shape the rest of a child’s life. While a great education is important to everyone, and often high on the list of priorities for parents and judges, the quality of a school alone is not enough to justify a decision about allocation of parental rights one way or the other. Judges must look at the whole picture, not just at one element, important though it may be.

If you have questions about allocation of parental responsibilities, or any other family law issues, contact an experienced Aurora family law attorney. Call the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., today at (630) 409-8184 to schedule a confidential consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

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