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My ex and I are supposed to agree on all major decisions. He enrolled her in a new school w/o me agreeing. What can I do?

Bothell, WA |

In the past I have agreed for my daughter to attend school using his address since she has 2 siblings on his side. We both recently moved and are in different school districts. We have joint physical and legal custody, but he is listed as primary. Everything is 50/50, incl all major decision making. I told my ex that we needed to discuss a few things regarding our daughter, incl the school she will go to, he has avoided having this discussion.
My daughter is almost 11 and going into the 5th grade, and this will be the 3rd change to a new school b/c of his frequent moving. I know that my daughter would benefit greatly if I could switch things so she goes to school by my house. She would be more established and not bounce around because I RARELY move.
How can I legally make this change?

I also would like to get the parenting plan modified, making me primary. My ex has proven his inability to care for our daughter(or his other 2 kids) without help from his mom. Examples like cooking, daily cleaning, laundry, help with homework, doctor or dentist appointments, clothes and/or school supply shopping, etc. are all done by his mom. His mom even attended both parent/teacher conferences this last year, while he stayed home. I feel he relies completely on his mom, and is unable to care for our daughter on his own. To top it all off, I recently received copies of police reports from when he was planning to commit suicide, which he hid from me. He is unstable on many levels, and it worries me when my daughter is in his care.

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Attorney answers 1


You definitely need to hire an attorney to bring all these things to the court's attention. First, he has violated the parenting plan by enrolling her in a different school than last year without talking to you first and the two of you agreeing. That would be a motion for show cause re contempt. Next, you need to ask to modify the parenting plan to reduce his time because he is not exercising it, his mother is. You need to show the court his instability by his moves (did he file and serve you with Notices of Intent to Relocate when he moved--I will guess he did not. You need to bring the issue of his suicide attempt to the court because this is behavior that put your kids at risk. I had a client try that during the middle of the case and her husband got primary custody, even though she went through inpatient and outpatient treatment. The judge told her he was proud of her and that is why she got unsupervised parenting time, but he said, because of her choices, that was why she was not named the primary residential parent. Good luck!

My response does not constitute legal advice but is provided for the purposes of advertising and education. Please contact a local attorney if you wish to obtain confidential legal counsel.

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