Voorhees NJ Lawyers Fight for Parents when Custody Issues Impact the Child’s Education
Divorce is an adult issue. It shouldn’t impact your children any more than it absolutely must. You may not be married anymore, but you are both still parents and you both have rights regarding access to information regarding your child’s education in schools throughout South Jersey, including Moorestown and Mt. Laurel.
If your rights as a parent of a student in Camden County, or anywhere in New Jersey, are being compromised because of a bitter ex-spouse or school administrators or educators who aren’t following NJ state law regarding how divorced parents must be treated by public school districts, we can help. Contact Davis & Mendelson in Voorhees, NJ today for a consultation about your personal situation. We will explain your rights and fight for your family.
Experienced Education Attorneys Help Clients Dealing with Child Custody-Related School Issues in Cherry Hill, Medford and throughout Camden County, NJ
There is a US law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), that outlines how school districts must protect the privacy of students and their parents. By following FERPA, New Jersey schools fulfill the obligation of providing open access to information about a child’s record to his or her parents or legal guardians. It should be noted that the statute says “parents,” not custodial parent (34 CFR 99.3).
In fact, who has custody of the child is generally irrelevant, as it relates to both parents’ rights to know about and participate in all education-related issues regarding their child.
We can help if your rights as a parent of a student are being compromised because of a bitter ex-spouse or school administrators or educators who aren’t following NJ state law regarding how divorced parents must be treated by public school districts.
In fact, Section 99.4 of FERPA says: “An educational agency or institution shall give full rights under the Act to either parent, unless the agency or institution has been provided with evidence that there is a court order, State statute, or legally binding document relating to such matters as divorce, separation, or custody, that specifically revokes these rights.”
The bottom line of FERPA is clear: if a child’s parents are separated or divorced, the schools must provide full and open access to a child’s information to both parents, custodial and non-custodial. This regulation must be followed unless a judge has ordered something to the contrary. For example, if one parent has a restraining order against the other stemming from a domestic violence situation, the accused may not be able to access school information about the child in question.
It’s important to note that oftentimes the non-custodial parent has to request documents and they may be charged for copies. However, the schools must comply with requests.
Howard Mendelson of the Voorhees-based education law firm of Davis & Mendelson has been protecting students’ rights and fighting for open access to information for families in South Jersey for 20 years. In addition to his experience and knowledge of education law in NJ, Mr. Mendelson is also a compassionate, skilled family lawyer. He fully understands the emotional aspects of custody issues in schools. He will fight for your rights, under federal and state law, to be kept informed and allowed to participate in your child’s education.
What are Some Common Contentious Issues Regarding Custody and Education?
Contact Howard Mendelson today about any and all questions or concerns related to the following issues that, unfortunately, become major challenges when divorced parents don’t agree.
Sports: Sounds insignificant, but it’s not. When one parent says “yes” to an extracurricular activity, even a dangerous sport such as football, and the other parent doesn’t give permission, the result can be an enraged battle.
Dual Notification: Both parents are entitled to be notified about any information regarding their child’s education. This includes alerts about health-related issues, parent-teacher conferences, IEP meetings and even non-academic events such as school plays. Many schools are often willing to hold two conferences or meetings in cases where parents cannot be together.
Educational Choices: It’s not uncommon for one parent to want to have a child tested for special education services while the other is adamantly against it. Similarly, even if both parents agree to testing, many times they don’t agree on an educational strategy going forward. Drafting an appropriate IEP can become an incredibly difficult process.
College: As part of the original child custody and support agreements, specifics regarding college decisions should be set forth. Issues about who will pay tuition and even each parent’s opinion about course of study or which school the student should attend can become huge problems.
Talk to Mr. Mendelson about your particular situation. He brings the expertise of both an education lawyer and 20 years as a family lawyer. If your ex is trying to keep information from you regarding your children’s education, Mr. Mendelson will exercise your legal rights under FERPA. It’s important to know that the custodial parent is not permitted to prevent the non-custodial parent from having access to education-related information about their child. The school does not need the custodial parent’s permission to comply with a request from the non-custodial parent.
Contact a Skilled South Jersey Lawyer for Assistance with Your Custody-Education Issue Today
If you believe your rights as a parent are being sidelined because your ex is keeping information from you, or going out of their way to prevent you from getting access to information about your child’s schooling, you have a right to allow a lawyer step in on your behalf. Additionally, if you are having difficulty getting a school district to make accommodations for your family situation, a lawyer will fight for your rights.
Contact Howard Mendelson of Davis & Mendelson today to learn more about the responsibilities of school districts to make all information accessible to both parents. Mr. Mendelson will fight for your right to be a part of your child’s education.