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Preventing child custody issues at school

Some parents find themselves struggling to co-parent with a partner after ending a marriage. Once the child custody decision is finalized, the parents could have a difference of opinion in how it is implemented or one parent could choose to ignore the order entirely. While ignoring a custody order in Florida is never a good idea, some do. Parents with school-aged children can take certain steps to keep the school informed of the parameters of the custody order and minimize problems in the future. 

One suggested way to ensure that the order is followed during school transitions is to provide the custody order or any other documents like a restraining order at the beginning of the school year. By informing school officials and teachers of the specifics of the order, they will know what to expect in the coming months. Also, they will be able to prevent individuals from violating the order with unauthorized visits or removals. 

Parental kidnapping may be a concern for some families. If a parent is concerned about this issue, he or she should be very proactive in working with school officials to protect the child. The parent may wish to enquire about the school's policies for check-ins and check-outs and how the child will be supervised on the school grounds. 

In Florida, child custody orders set the framework for joint or sole physical and legal custody of children. If a parent believes that a child may be in danger, he or she can inform the child's caregivers. One may also seek to have the order adjusted by the court if needed. In the case of child custody orders or modifications, one may wish to consult with an experienced family law attorney. 

Source:, "How Schools Should Protect Students from Child Custody Disputes", Amy Rock, April 23, 2018

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