Can My Child’s Other Parent Visit My Kid at School When I Have Custody?
This is something that happens quite frequently and the school system or your child’s teacher often gets stuck in the middle. Unfortunately, there isn’t a general answer that applies to all situations. The first thing you need to look at is your child custody order. Is there any type of language that prohibits the other parent from visiting your child, even at school? Is there any type of retraining or no contact order? If not, then most likely the non-custodial parent, or the parent that does not have custody of the child can still visit the child at school. This means they can sit with the child at lunch, attend soccer or football games, and so on. The non-custodial parent can also review school records, talk to teachers, and can often request to be listed as an emergency contact for your child.
Federal law states that, “an educational institution shall give full rights…to either parent, unless the agency or institution has been provided with evidence that there is a court order…that specifically revokes these rights.” So the non-custodial parent has just as many rights as the custodial parent when it comes to matters relating to the child’s school. This can mean looking at school records or attending school functions. The school does not want to be involved in your divorce or custody issues. It is easier for them to simply give full rights to every parent unless they are shown otherwise.
Parents can also get caught up in viewing the visitation schedule as being my time or his/her time. Keep in mind that the courts want both parents to be involved in the child’s life. Just because a soccer game falls on the mother’s days of custody does not mean that the father cannot attend that soccer game. It also doesn’t mean that the father can’t attend a parent teacher conference or have lunch with your child at school. The key here is that they can’t be interfering with your time with your child. If your child is at school they are not interfering with your time. By observing a soccer game they are not interfering with your time. However, if they want to take your child home after one of these activities or somehow encroach on your time before or after the activity, than that would be an issue. Just keep in mind that the courts want both parents to be involved and one parent trying to prohibit the other parent from being involved in the child’s life and extra curricular activities does not look good to a family law judge.
If you have any custody questions or are dealing with a custody case right now, please contact our office for a low-cost consultation. We can discuss your specific case and see what the best options are to fit your situation. Contact us at 980-225-1832 or Info@DuncanLarsonLaw.com.