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I have joint custody but my ex recently moved and is trying to force me to have my kids go to school close to where he lives, even though he works in in the same city where I live, where he used to live, where my kids friends live, where we both work, where his family lives?

My daughter is 11, my son is 8 and my ex recently moved in with his wife to be in another city. It is past open enrollment for new year and he just popped the ultimatum on me in the few weeks that my kids "need" to go to school 2 miles from his new home rather than go to school in the same town where I live, where kids friends are, where we both work, etc. He wants me to "compromise" by letting my daughter do after school activities so she is not home alone in another city 3-4 hours after school is out. He really wants to stop paying daycare expenses and let my daughter stay at his home alone now that she is old enough in his opinion. Am I being too mother henly to not want my daughter in a city 20-30 minutes away when most of his time is spent in same city where we both work? My ex has been adamant that he needs to have his way- mostly because this is the first time I have adamantly disagreed with him since our divorce.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:07 AM on Jun. 3, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (12)
  • What does your custody agreement say? Get an attorney if you don't have one and get something in writing. GL.

    Answer by Soniam301 at 2:11 AM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • A friend of mine went through something similar to this with her ex. He actually thought he was the right and took her to court. The judge told him to get over himself and the child was to stay in the school system that he lived in.
    I would discuss this with my lawyer or simply tell him to get over it.

    Answer by ronjwake at 2:21 AM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • Divorce paper says we both have joint decision but he asked me to lunch, knowing we had not come to agreement, proceeded to hand me the enrollment papers to sign, and then told me I was not legally able to decide where to enroll my kids.. the divorce papers state specifically we need to make joint decision. His actions are forcing us to go to mediator... it is very aggravating. He admitted it was his new wife to be that was driving all of the current changes - this is only one of many changes he has been asking of me.. I am being asked to "compromise" when he is the one who moved out of town.....

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:25 AM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • My SO and his ex have joint LEGAL custody with SO having primary residency - meaning SD lives with us and visits BM but both of them have a say in major decisions. Do your divorce papers state anything about where primary residency is? If they do and it is with you, there is nothing he can do because, as stated earlier, the children will automatically attend the school district they live in unless you BOTH (since you have joint custody) agree to open enroll them out of town. If all else fails - make sure you point out that they have been in the schools they are in now with his ok up to this point and that he is the one that decided (without consulting you or the kids) to move out of town. Sounds to me like the new wife is just a control freak - I know what that is like - the ex thinks she can control everything with us but we make sure she understands that it's not going to happen. Good luck! I know how stressful it can get.

    Answer by LifeGoesOn08 at 3:57 AM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • Tell your ex to kiss your ass, it's better for your kids to stay in the same school with their friends. The new wife sounds like a selfish bitch who would rather have your daughter be home alone then in a structured environment. It's all about money.

    Answer by sammiesmom2000 at 4:20 AM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • Let him pay for the mediator to settle this.

    Answer by rkoloms at 7:24 AM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • This is about exactly what you said....hes tired of paying the after school charges for them. So I guess he figures if he gets them into another school, they can stay at his home alone until someone gets there?? I think 11 is still too young to be home alone for more than maybe 30 min. IN the state of GA, the law says 13 or at least its 13 to be watching siblings anyway. This is about money. I think I would just go to the mediator and explain that uprooting your children from their current school would be traumatic. And it is. My kids are doing it now and its terribly hard on them. Also if its that big of a deal can you work out financial arrangements where you and him pay the fees together? or are you already doing that?

    Answer by momofsaee at 7:52 AM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • 1. Its up to the kids, Do they want to stay or switch schools?, (Its the kids decision, too many of you parents never even consider that....... -- 2. I never agreed with kids switching schools, but if your going to do it, do it now while she's 11 any later and it will be very, very hard on her socially, 11 may even be too old to switch....... 3.. I do 100% agree with the father's idea of After School sports, activities....... Why can't she do that where she is, (it has to be because of your work schedule), --- These are some things you need to think about.... I mean all the kids, do sports, around here, and church activities etc.etc.etc., I mean your daughter deserve's to be able to be social, at 11, at 12 and especially at 13, that is their life....... (Are you being this way because of PRIDE, seriously step back, and think about that, what would God want you to do for the kids???

    Answer by Kay300 at 8:15 AM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • Even with joint custody, he can't change it without your agreement. That's the difference. He can't force you to "agree" with him to change their school. The burden is on him to get you to agree to a change. The courts will usually want to leave things status quo unless their is a compelling reason to change it. You don't have to do anything to stop the change - just don't sign enrollment papers, they stay where they are.

    As for asking the kids what they want - most courts will not ask the kids what they want until they are 13-14 years old. And even then, its not always taken into consideration.

    I just went through this with my dd. She was starting high school and we wanted her to attend school in our town because its a much, much better school district (3rd in the state versus 157th). The burden was on us since we wanted the change.

    Answer by dottieanna29 at 8:21 AM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • ask you kids how they would feel and if they don't want to and if they succeeding in the school they are in now and you provide a stable home and lifestyle then you get an attorney for the best interests of your kids your ex husband chose to move with his new b***h so your kids shouldn't have to suffer because he's selfish and if he works all the time then use that against him and if he pulls the "well my wife is at home" then say what does that have to do with anything they are not her kids and has no business trying to raise them unless you were incapable of doing so.
    but before you go that route ask your children how they would feel and be honest with them and if need be and they decide they want to stay with you have them tell there dad even if you have to sit with them for support but don't say anything he could use that against you if he took you to court.

    Answer by IceyAngel6966 at 8:42 AM on Jun. 3, 2009

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