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Should schools be informed of child custody agreements?

It is not surprising that divorcing couples who share children might continue to experience disagreements in the years following the initial court order. When disagreements over child custody arise, Pennsylvania family law attorneys are available to offer advice on any legal options to explore. Sometimes parents encounter issues with a child's school not enforcing child custody terms and may need further assistance to ensure proper handling.

Courts typically define custody as two types, physical and legal. Parents who maintain physical custody sometimes share legal custody with the other parent. When legal custody is shared between parents, school information cannot be withheld from a parent without a court order. Some states have laws that require schools to share school records with both parents regardless of custody agreements. Those laws typically allow schools to withhold personal information of the child and the other parent from a parent who has been proven to be abusive.

Some schools make the mistake of trusting one parent's verbal word and explanation of a custody agreement, resulting in a conflict when the other parent attempts to gain access to the child while in the care of a school. If a court order is in place restraining one parent from contact with a child, the other parent is responsible for informing the school and updating the school as needed with the correct paperwork. Schools aware of court orders banning one parent from contact with a child can be held liable if contact is made while school is in session.

Even though a couple may end a marriage, communication must continue when children are involved either through the court, lawyers or in person. The right family law attorney in Pennsylvania can assist a parent to understand the details of his or her child custody order and what it will mean going forward. In addition, assistance can be offered for any other court orders necessary or paperwork that may be needed to enforce an existing court order.

Source:, "How Schools Should Protect Students from Child Custody Disputes", Amy Rock, April 23, 2018

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