Child Custody, Visitation & Relocation

Choice Of Child’s Pre-School

Choice of Child’s Pre-School Is Generally Determined By Primary Residential Custodian Parent

The family case of Madison v. Davis, 20-4-4617, Chcy. Div.,Ocean Cy. (June 18, 2014) presented legal issues of first impression regarding the rights and obligations of divorced patents when their child attends pre-school. For the reasons set forth in the opinion, the court held the following: 1.When a child attends pre-school as a form of work-related day care, and the parents cannot agree on which pre-school a child should attend, the primary residential custodian generally has the initial right to make the selection. If the non-custodial parent objects to the choice of pre-school, he or she has the burden of proof to demonstrate that the choice is unreasonable under the circumstances and contrary to the child’s best interests. 2. When a non-custodial parent sporadically has extra time to spend with the child during pre-school hours, he or she may generally do so upon reasonable notice. However, once the child is of school age and begins attending formal schooling, the child generally should not be removed from the classroom to accommodate additional “parenting time” absent extenuating circumstances. 3. When two divorced parents, as joint legal custodians, demonstrate ongoing contentiousness and litigiousness by repeatedly returning to court against each other, the court may, in its discretion, compel both parents to attend mandatory co-parenting counseling, over parental objection and at joint parental cost, in furtherance of the child’s best interests.

Reference: Case & Analysis, New Jersey Law Journal, 218 N.J.L.J. 326 (October 20, 2014)

Filed Under: Family Law; Child Custody; Pre-School Selection

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