Child Custody, Visitation & Relocation

Trial Court Must Consider Child’s Educational, Emotional and Social Needs Before Ordering Parent to Enroll Divorce Parties’ Daughter in Religious Private School

The family law case of Rothstein vs. Warschawski, 20-2-2814, App Division, involves a post judgment dispute over which religious private school the divorced parties’ daughter should attend. The marital settlement agreement (MSA) clearly contemplates that the parties would be obligated to confer with each other, and mutually agree, on significant matters involving their child’s education and religious upbringing. The MSA provided that the parties were required to mediate issues that required their mutual agreement, including religious and educational decisions. However, they were unable to come to an agreement as to the choice of school. Plaintiff appeals from part of a Family Part order compelling her to enroll the parties’ child in a school accredited by a secular accreditation body. The crux of the dispute is that the Orthodox Hebrew day school that plaintiff selected for the child is not accredited by a secular accreditation body, but is approved by an organization of Hebrew Day Schools. As the trial court did not adequately consider the child’s educational, emotional and social needs in ordering that she attend an accredited school, the appellate panel reverses and remands.

Reference: Case and Analysis, New Jersey Law Journal, 215 N.J.L.J. 437 (February 17, 2014)

Filed Under: Family Law; Child Schooling; Religious Private School

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