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School performance can be used in child custody cases

The main thing that the court is trying to figure out during a child custody case is what will be in the best interests of the child. Since education is very important to children and performance in school can factor into their further educational opportunities and career opportunities, it is thought of as a relevant factor when determining where a child should live.

If children who are with one parent tend to do poorly in their classes and do well when they are with the other parent, for example, this can be used by the parent with whom they do well to show that he or she should have custody. The parent can argue that this is the best way for the children to excel.

The court may look at more than just test scores and academic performance. It may also look at the socialization that the children get, how many friends they have, and how active they are in after-school activities.

Beyond that, the court may consider how often the children are late and how often they miss school completely. If one parent always has them to school on time and the other is typically late and often allows them to skip school, it can easily be argued that the parent who brings them to school is a having a better influence on their lives.

In this sense, the court will acknowledge that how a child does in school is not all on the child’s shoulders. It is also up to the parents to get the child to school, to help with homework, to enforce rules about studying, and to create an atmosphere in which the child can learn.

Parents must know all of their legal rights when working through this process in Texas.

Source: SchoolMatch, “Effectively Using School Evaluation In A Child Custody Case,” William L. Bainbridge, accessed Dec. 30, 2015

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