Divorces end marriages but do not end the child-parent relationship - this is a relationship that should last a lifetime. Massachusetts requires divorcing spouses who have children under the age of 18 to participate in an approved Parent Education Program. Learn more about these mandatory programs by visiting this link: https://www.mass.gov/parent-education
It is important to recognize that the children in a divorcing family may be deeply affected by their parent’s divorce. If a child’s grades and/or behavior change before, during and after the parent’s divorce inquires need to be made to see if the child would benefit from counseling. The parents should be mindful not to blame the other parent for any of the child’s struggles. Both parents need to stay focused on what is in the best interest of the child.
Who makes the education decisions for the children after the divorce? That depends on what kind of ' legal custody' you have in accordance with MGL. Ch. 208 S. 31. This is what the statute states in relevant part:
''Sole legal custody'', one parent shall have the right and responsibility to make major decisions regarding the child's welfare including matters of education, medical care and emotional, moral and religious development.
''Shared legal custody'', continued mutual responsibility and involvement by both parents in major decisions regarding the child's welfare including matters of education, medical care and emotional, moral and religious development.
Tips for divorcing and/or divorced parents:
1. Let the school know in writing who may pick up the child at any time.
2. Let the school know in writing to send report cards, progress reports, and other educational notices to both parents. Be sure you provide current contact information to the school.
3. Understand that your child's teacher is NOT going to pick a side so don't put them in that position. Your teacher's purpose is to educate your child and to ensure that the best interests of the child are fulfilled.
4. Try and keep any and all marital issues out of the school. Don't bad mouth each other to your child, school personell, other parents etc.
Have questions or concerns about your child's education? Contact us to discuss further:
E.M. Curran & Associates LLC