Achieving the Best Possible Outcomes in Legal Cases

What to Do When You And Your Ex-Partner Can't Agree On Your Child's Schooling

by Maurice Carroll

Every parent wants the best for their child, but not all parents agree on what the best really entails. Often, after separation, ex-partners struggle to agree on the terms of their child's care, and schooling can be one of the major points of contention. If you and your former partner can't agree on the best school for your child, here's a simple, four-step guide to follow. 

Step 1: Consider why your choice of school is best

You may have already decided which school you think is best for your child, but why? Is your choice of school closer to your child's residence or residences? Does your child already have friends at the school? What are the cultural, religious, or educational reasons behind your choice? Does your child have any special needs or requirements that your choice of school fulfils? Considering the reasons will help you when it comes to trying to sway your ex-partner to your point of view.

Step 2: Discuss things amicably with your partner

No matter how impassioned you are by your own choice of school, it's important that you try to keep things amicable when discussing schooling with your ex-partner. Try to get together in a public place where you're more likely to remain calm. You're more likely to sway your ex-partner if you have good and logical reasons behind your choice, so make sure to bring up the points you considered when considering why your school is best. 

Step 3: Ask for the child's opinion

If your child is old enough, they may have strong opinions about which school they would like to attend. While your child's opinion shouldn't necessarily be the most important part of the discussion, it's important to make sure they feel heard. Children can often feel like they lack control and autonomy when their parents separate. Allowing them to give their own input can help foster a better relationship in the midst of turmoil and help you and your ex-partner come to a decision.

Step 4: Contact a lawyer if necessary

If you and your ex-partner are unable to come to an agreement amicably or decide that you need a lawyer's help, mediation is a good option. Get in touch with a family law service who can recommend a mediator to help facilitate discussions. If you still can't come to an agreement, court proceedings are also a possible last resort, though they can typically be costly and may drive a wedge between you and your ex-spouse.