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Family law issues that arise when kids go back to school

It's back to school time across the nation! But while this means more freedom during the day for stay-at-home parents who are itching to finish that New York Times Best Seller that has been collecting dust all summer, a new school year can also dredge up issues as well, especially for separated parents.

As so many of our readers know from first-hand experience, back to school often means back to basics for a lot of separated parents. It means continued work on lines of communication, knowing your parental rights and doing what is in the best interest of your child.

But even there may be some family law issues that our readers may not have considered, which is something we wanted to touch on with the list below.

Parental relocation. If one parent has moved to another state, the discussion about where the child will go to school will inevitably hit the table. Divorced parents should review what is stated in their custody arrangement and should be aware of their parental rights as well. This will help avoid a majority of conflicts including which parent has the right to choose the school the child attends.

Child custody orders. As we said above, knowing what is stated in your own child custody order and agreeing to follow it this school year will mean the difference between family law disputes with your ex-spouse and a litigation-free school year. These court orders should not be taken lightly as they can lead to legal consequences if you choose to ignore them.

Child support obligations. Because child support payments often include school costs, it's important for both parents to brush up on their obligations and request any modifications to a support order before it turns into a dispute.

Parenting time. As you can imagine, more after-school activities means less time spent with parents. While this might not seem like that big of a deal to a custodial parent, the same is not generally true for noncustodial parents. If an after-school activity starts to cut into their parenting time, a noncustodial parent could begin feeling frustrated and may seek help from the courts to remedy the issue.

Source: Statelaws.findlaw.com, "Child Custody in Texas," Accessed Sept. 10, 2014

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