I have joint custody of my three kids with my ex-wife. I have them every other weekend and one night a week. Recently, she moved in with her new boyfriend of 6 months. She moved to an entirely different school district. She just informed me the kids have been accepted to a VERY expensive private school, with financial aid. The other children live completely different lifestyles than my kids. I am completely opposed to this and I have let her know. She still insists on enrolling them. Do I have any options?
Your options may be largely determined by what is in the final order giving you joint custody with your wife. You may or may not have a say in where they go to school, but typically, parents who have joint legal custody have equal say in educational decision making SC Code 63-15-210(1). I would strongly encourage you to make an appointment with a family law attorney in your area and let him or her go over your order and discuss your options.
Also, in most divorce cases involving children, both parents are under restraining orders not to expose the children to any boyfriends or girlfriends on an overnight basis. If this restraining order is in your final order, your wife could be in violation of the order by moving in with her boyfriend. You need to discuss this with an attorney as well.
There are different variations of joint custody. If your order states that mother has "primary placement:", she will usually have final decision making power. You should take the order and get a consultation with an attorney.
There are more problems here than just schooling. Start with your ex-wife moving in with her "new boyfriend" . Exposing your children to this relationship may or may not be prohibited in the Order under which you are living now; however, you need to know that this is a highly disfavored living situation in this state. Also when you say "new" boyfriend that sounds like she may have had one or more before this. Exposure to multiple boyfriends is even worse. You did not say if your children are boys or girls. However, please bear in mind that the "significant other" of your ex-wife is the person most likely to abuse or neglect YOUR children. Just FYI on all the above but please consider. The school issue should be governed by your underlying Order. If you have a joint custody arrangement, who gets the final say in the event of dispute? Is there any provision for mediation in the event of an impasse? Did she tell you this, about the kids moving to another school, after the fact or before? Your Order should require good-faith consultation in advance of any such move. Is she expecting you to help pay for these costs? Did she move the kids away from you, and did the move create problems for you with sharing time with your kids? I would gather my Court Order with the answers to these questions and seek out a good Family Court lawyer in your area to assist you
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