Manely Firm - August 2019

All family law. All around Georgia. All around the world.

A ugust 2019

S chool S ystems A broad How to Protect Your Chi ld

S chool is an essential aspect of any child’s life. Not only is it a place for kids to learn and grow in their education, but it’s also a place where they can socialize with other youths their age. In divorced households, school can cause strife between parents. After a long summer, everyone has to adjust to new schedules and work together to ensure nothing is overlooked and no one oversteps. This process can become even more complicated if the parents reside in different countries or have a tenuous relationship with each other. School systems around the world are all different in some way. We recently finished another case in Australia that involved the local school schedule. Their school schedule is a lot different than in the U.S.; for instance, students enjoy their summer vacation in December, January, and February instead of June, July, and August. These types of scheduling differences are what parents have to be keenly aware of, not only for themselves but also for the mental well-being of their child. Before a family enters a new country, they must decide how immersed they want their children to become. It’s vital to consider any long-term effects this may have on the family, even if it’s a short-term arrangement. For example, if you decide to visit another country and put your child into a local school and later decide to withdraw them, it could lead to complications. If one parent decided they didn’t want to leave, they wanted to stay, a parent’s decisions regarding the schooling of their child could weaken their

case significantly. By placing your child in school while abroad, you’re giving the impression you were planning on staying in the country for an indefinite period of time. Even if you were to argue that you never intended to stay in that country, your words don’t match your actions. Additionally, it can be argued that the child is accustomed to the new environment they’ve been living in. There is an entire network of school friends, teachers, regimens, and even cultures that the child has been exposed to. Attending a school is far more than loyalty to a mascot; it’s about being embedded into another culture, and, when a child is taken out of that, the experience can do more harm than good. To avoid these difficult or painful situations, be selective in the school the child will attend while in another

country. If a child is coming from the U.S. and will be attending a school in Europe, find a school that closely follows the curriculum and schedule of the school systems in the States. I would also advise that you leave a paper trail to show you were only residing in the country for a set amount of time. These types of precautions are necessary in unstable family environments. communication. Whether you’ll be in the same country or not, work together for a schedule and school you both agree on. –Michael Manely 1 For parents who are eager to avoid any anxieties this school year, keep open channels of

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