What to look out for in the new school year – from a Family Lawyer

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It is that time again, that most children dread….. The end of the summer holidays. Children aren’t always the only ones who may dread this time of year – separated parents can find also find this period particularly challenging.

Many families with parents that have separated experience difficulties organising changeover; this can be due to work schedules and commitments or simply poor communication between the parents. To ensure that your children’s commencement of the school year is uninterrupted by divorce conflict, here are some hints and tips to surviving those first few weeks of the school semester:

Hints & Tips

  1.  Organise for the children to be with their primary carer in time for commencement of the school term. It can be quite disruptive for a child and their learning if they are not settled at home and organised for the start of the school year.
  2. If parents have agreed to contribute equally towards costs of back to school essentials, create two lists of equal value and ask the other parent to pick one; and
  3.  In cases where there is high conflict between parents, ensure that changeover occurs at school so there is not face-to-face changeover. It is recommended that parents inform the school of your care arrangements, especially if the parents’ child is of a young age.

 Change of School

If your child is changing schools or entering into high school, this time of year can be even more challenging. If your child has changed school without your knowledge or consent, here is some information you should be aware of:

  1.  The parent’s name listed on the enrolment form is the one liable for the school’s fees;
  2. There are ways to off-set payments of school fees against your child support liability (non-agency payments); and
  3. If you are being refused details as to your children’s education and attendance, there is an order that can be sought to provide you with this information.

 Schools are very experienced in dealing with separated parents and their children. Speak to your family law solicitor about talking to your children’s school to see how they can be of assistance to your child/children.

If you have further questions on any of the above or if you are currently in a similar situation, the Family Law department at Owen Hodge Lawyers would like to help. Please call us to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780. 

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