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Changing Schools

I have had consent order for the last 4 years that has worked well.   I recently married this year and would like to try for another child!

I live a half an hour drive away from their school, and didn't wish to change schools for three years ago.  So for the last three years I have to drive an extra 2 hours a day to drop them off (30 minutes there and back twice a day).  Their father only has to drive five minutes and nothing has really changed for him.  We have joint custody.  The issue here is I am tired of driving all the time and suffer from panic attacks due to driving!!!

I want them to go to a school that is half way between my house and their fathers house but he will not agree to this!!!!  What can I do to ensure that this can happen and would legal steps would I have to take to make this happen?

Any advise or help would be great!

I believe that you may have difficulty taking this to a court as you would likely have to get over the Rice and Asplund precedent. This basically requires that there is a significant change. Perhaps if the panic attacks you suffer could be medically diagnosed/confirmed this may be considered a significant change (hopefully an SRL will clarify this).

To take the matter to court you would have to attend mediation and obtain a certificate, that would be the first step (there are exceptions). If the mediation isn't fruitful, then you can take the matter to court. You have two options to be represented or not. For the first option the solicitor that you get to represent you should assist you in putting forward your case. In the latter you do much if not all by yourself. If you click on Community near the top and then click on SLR-Resources to the left and do quite a bit of reading you will see that there is a possibility that you could get assistance in representing yourself.

You will likely get a reply from someone with a purple badge like this , the badge indicates that the person is one of the people that are very knowledgable with regards to family law and self-representation. It is very likely that anything that they say is better than what is said from those who do not have the badge. Myself included (hence the very brief overview).

As you have decided to move on and have another child with your new husband, and your position is that this child's interests and your personal situation is more important than the best interests of the two children that you and your ex share the care of, perhaps you should let your ex have a greater role in meeting their daily needs like school dropoffs and pickups.

If you suffer panic attacks whilst driving, would 15mins less driving really make a difference?
A change in medical circumstances can get you past the Rice and Asplund hurdle however, this can be a double edged sword.

You would have to get some strong medical back up together with the details of any treatment.

The other side could run counter arguments. Example you have been putting the child in danger and would still do so even if the driving was reduced and could attempt to reverse the lives with status

This is a situation of mediation first before Court and then some considerable research to find applicable case law. While an FRC counselor might be sympathetic to your plight, in the brutal world of the Courts it is the law and case law that matters.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Susan 13

I don't think anyone can do anything in the courts to ensure something happens.

The best thing you could do is talk to the childrens father and ask his opinion of possible change and if he is willing to work towards similar goals.

In my personal situation I would not agree to move my child away from the school she attends for many reasons, one thing that will come to the fore is the fact the children are settled in a routine that has been established for three years, so why move them.

I understand that your situation may have changed but the childrens hasn't.

Asking for change can be a humbling experience and sometimes rejection may find you hosting negative feelings towards the father but if reasons are given and they are not detrimental towards yourself but given in the best interest of the child then you may need to give things time before you press the matter again.

One of the most simplest solutions is to return to the area, this may not be financially possible in some aspects but when you consider the cost of running a vehicle 1000 + k's a week ( fuel and maintenance etc. ) it may well be an approachable solution.

Susan 13, I can absolutely understanding your situation as I am in the same position, my first question since you say you didn't want to change for 3 years is what is in the orders about schools? We have it listed to change schools but my ex demands something close too instead of the best school for the kids which ends up half way between us.
My best advice is not legal but on a personal and that is do not try to fall pregnant if you can't cope with the drive, any large strain can cause stress on the baby and cause a miscarriage, horrible but it can.

I just wanted to add to some of the posters who submitted, that it would not be cutting down 15minutes driving a day for half way for her, it would be a total of an hour and believe me that is a HUGE difference when you are driving it everyday.
Someone also said move back to the area, I feel people jump on this a bit to often. As someone who relocated myself, when I first left my ex I had to rent a dingy of a unit and when I meet my partner we couldn't fit in either of our rental homes and the rental prices had over doubled in the area, it was cheaper to buy and pay a loan off :o absolutely amazing, we brought where we could instead of paying rent we couldn't afford and risk being kicked out because we can't afford the rent. Why should it always be looked at as the move away parent is at fault? If you are still within a reasonable distance say 30mins/metro it should still be accepted instead of put down, Why should the lower earner parent be punished because they can't afford the same lifestyle? My first question would be why are most parents who stay in the family home so unreasonable on being equal in everything? I deal with 2 hours driving everyday and especially since midway school has a bus service to each parents doors then why does it become so unreasonable?

Sorry I Have dribbled on long enough and step off my soap box.

Back to susan, what grade is your eldest in? If getting close to high school it may be a pathway to get a change, find a joint primary and secondary school so once the eldest is in and it's closer to midway, the ex may not handle the extra trips and agree to move the other's. Just a suggestion.
One of the things to keep in mind on this forum is that emotional needs can put a slant on a legal question.

We may feel that it is in our rights to make decissions that suit our lives right now with our own interest in mind without considering the consequences.

In some cases there has been a battle fought for the children and their rights to access both parents. Many times in this battle because like it or not in adversarial cases it does turn into a battle or war that needs adjudicating by a third party. Anyway in this struggle one or other of the parents may have used the childs access against the other parent. By doing this they establish themselves as a risk in the other parents eye's.

I agree there may be an impracticability to remain close to the childrens environment after separation for various reason but it still remains a fact that someone has moved and in doing so takes on the commitment this move brings.

You will find most parents will be reasonable when considering the best thing for the child and both environment but occasionally there are a few that get unreasonable for revenge, lifes not perfect.

faith you ask if the moving parent is at fault well no they are not at fault but they have made a decision and therefore have the responsibility of that decision generally. If the other parent is content in continuing in the path both parents chose before separation why should they be accountable for another's actions ?

If this move is prior to mediation or court action then I agree it would need to be addressed in these environments with aims to find middle ground providing there has not been a long term paten established where these conditions have been met making them acceptable. If they have been established why should they change. If the other parent decided to move an hour away would this mean an automatic change to support this by moving the kids further away from the parent seeking change and then if it does where does it stop.

On average more mothers stay in the family home or abscond with the children, in many cases it is a reflection of their emotional vindictiveness I guess some dads are exactly the same.

In many cases things become unreasonable because of control issues now whether it is because moving the kids from a secure school environment is considered unreasonable or not allowing the children to travel an equal distance between both homes with the benefit of transport provided is considered unreasonable comes down to how each parent views their accountability, responsibility, benefit and effect of this to the child and what prior history is reflected in their decission.

One thing that does need to be considered when thinking about moving children into a different school is the laws of each states educational policies. A court may well rule in the favour of the other parent and this may back fire. Dual care and responsibility would make it illegal in some states to move the child with out the other parents permission and you would not legally be able to register the child in public schooling if the child is registered in another school.

Like it or not if you ask for change it is not an automatic acceptance for any parent and this sometimes comes with a cost to the child at that point of time but may benefit them in later life.

There are no moral issues because both sides can be debated away so there for it's a legal issue and legality needs to be a focal point.

I would suggest as many would that there is a limited legal cause to be addressed so communication is your best option, I would also advise caution in changing any routine that has been established after orders by consent are still orders and can be breached.

All best D4E  

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