Educating Kids and Custody: School and A New Custody Order

Written by Jonathan Breeden

May 17, 2021

You’ve finally gotten the custody case resolved. But how informed does your child’s school need to be about the custody order in place?

In our over 20 years of family law practice, we get this question quite a bit. And we often tell parents that because school plays such a massive role in your child’s life, informing them of the custody order and providing them with a copy is usually a good idea.

Education is a common issue in custody disputes. But attorney Jonathan Breeden has helped countless families resolve issues in Johnston, Wake, and Harnett County. If you have a question or are dealing with a custody problem, call (919) 661-4970 today.

Give Your School the Most Recent Custody Order

Your school needs the current custody order to know who has access to your child’s school, teachers, and records.

If you have joint legal custody in North Carolina, like most divorced or separated parents, both of you have equal access. They should get the report cards, progress reports, meet with the teachers, get emails from them, and participate as an equal parent in the child’s education. If the custody is split during the week, the order should notify the school who may normally drop off or pick the child up.

The school will probably ask for a court-certified copy, so they know it’s genuine. The school administration won’t want to be part of a game by a parent who sends them fake documents to force the other parent out of their child’s life. There may be many personal issues in the custody order that have nothing to do with the school. Ask for it to be kept confidential or removed from the school’s copy.

Does the Order Prevent the Other Parent From Making Decisions?

If you have sole legal custody, the school system should know that. Only you can make decisions about your child’s education. It puts them on notice the other parent can’t do something – like make these choices – which they may try to do. But it’s not the school’s job to enforce the order, so expect only so much help from the school.

If one parent has legal custody, that usually means the other isn’t interested in parenting responsibilities – though he or she probably has a right to spend time with the child – or something is going wrong with the parent’s life.

The person may be:

  • Incarcerated
  • Mentally ill
  • Abusive to the child
  • A threat to your child’s health or safety
  • A substance abuser
  • So seriously physically disabled or incapacitated that they’re not capable of dealing with these issues

If you have sole legal custody and learn – from the school or your child – the other parent is contacting the school, call our office. The other parent needs to know their limits. We can contact the parent directly or reach out to their attorney if they’re represented.

  • The parent may be curious about your child’s grades and want to know how they’re doing. If that’s the case, you should be contacted, not the school, and you can share whatever information you want
  • If the parent’s ignoring the order and acting like they’re able to make decisions for your child, that needs to be addressed. We can contact the parent or their attorney and make it clear what they’re doing is unacceptable. If it continues, a judge can order the parent to stop

Reach Out To the Breeden Law Office

Though the school may have the custody order, it’s not their job to enforce it. If the other parent is violating it, the school and your child should inform you. You can then take it up with the other parent or get our help to address the problem.

To help create or enforce a child custody order, reach out to the Breeden Law Office today. With more than two decades of experience and local offices in Raleigh, Garner, Angier, and Smithfield, attorney Jonathan Breeden can help you resolve any custody issue.

Give us a call at (919) 661-4970 or contact us online.


Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden