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Child custody arrangement should be provided to child’s school

In Georgia and elsewhere, separated or divorced parents usually have a child custody order or agreement that defines their respective rights to custody and visitation. When the children are of school age, there is the possibility of confusion or conflict regarding who may pick up the child after school or at other times. With a wide diversity of schools, school systems and other learning institutions in the mix, the school and other learning arrangements may need to be defined in the child custody order or agreement. Otherwise, the school may have no guidance when a parent shows up to pick up a child.

Generally, the custodial parent must deliver a copy of the order or agreement to the appropriate school officials. If the papers designate precisely who may pick up the child and/or provide a schedule for each parent’s time, then the school will have clear instructions to follow. If the custodial parent fails to provide the school with the legal paper work, that parent takes the risk of the non-custodial parent showing up and being allowed to pick up the child when it may not be authorized.

Such occurrences are not always sinister — they may be the result of a lack of communication, misunderstanding or neglect to mention the issue in the custody papers. In most instances, such mix-ups are easily corrected. However, where the parents are maintaining a bitter and combative approach to the custody and visitation situation, a recipe for volatility exists and may surface.

Moreover, the parents should understand that the best arrangement is one in which the parents are working together, communicating and cooperating for the best interests of the child. In that event, the written child custody provisions may not be as important as the working relationship and partnership of trust that will guide the parties. In Georgia and all other jurisdictions, the courts strive to facilitate a mature relationship of trust and cooperation between separated or divorced parents.

Source:, “Schools follow court orders in custody issues”, Marc Valero, March 10, 2015