Other Family Issues

questions & answers

Question: joint legal custody, i am the custodial parent, but father has final say. Is the father allowed to deny the child to go to be better school to receive a better education? He has no reason to not allow her to go to the new school other than he doesn't think its necessary. She almost failed 5th grade at her current public school. If I take him to court what are the chances of the judge allowing her to go to the better school? Isn't it supposed to be about what is in the child's best interest, not just about who has final say?

Answer: If you have a court order stating that while you are the custodial parent, father has final decision making over educational choices, you would be unable to change your child's school without going back to court and requesting a modification of the order pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 25-411.  Only you and your ex can evaluate how important and worthwhile a change in schools would be for your child.  If you strongly believe it is in the child's best interests, you may want to talk with a lawyer. There are 3 programs in Arizona that you can use to get some inexpensive legal advice and guidance.  One is the Modest Means Program.  If you are financially qualified for the program, for a $75 fee, Modest Means offers a one hour consult with an experienced attorney.  If you need additional help and the attorney agrees to take your case, the fee charged will not exceed $75 per hour.  The telephone number is (866)637-5341.  Both the Maricopa and Pima County Bar Associations have lawyer referral programs that offer a 30 minute consult with an experienced attorney.  Maricopa County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consult for a fee of $40.  The telephone number is (602) 257-4434.  Pima County's Lawyer Referral Service offers a 30 minute consultation for a fee of $35.  The telephone number is (520) 623-4625. If you do  not have sufficient money to pay for a reduced fee consult, you can go elsewhere on this website and apply to see if you qualify for a free lawyer.  Go to http://www.azlawhelp.org/accesstojustice.cfm

QUESTIONS

  • joint legal custody, i am the custodial parent, but father has final say. Is the father allowed to deny the child to go to be better school to receive a better education? He has no reason to not allow her to go to the new school other than he doesn't think its necessary. She almost failed 5th grade at her current public school. If I take him to court what are the chances of the judge allowing her to go to the better school? Isn't it supposed to be about what is in the child's best interest, not just about who has final say?

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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    Referral number 602-257-4434
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