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Visitation and Sports During School-Age Years

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LdiJ

Senior Member
And as usual, LdiJ, you are going with your gut, not the law.

While Mom might use her documents showing ownership as the basis of registering, the fact is, she and the child do not live at the residence she is using for the purpose of school registration. According to California Law, the parent/guardian has to be a current resident of the public school district, where current resident is as defined in CA Gov Code 244 and CA Ed Code 48200 and 48204.

Even a temporary relocation outside of district boundaries subjects you to disenrollment.

I've noticed the Palo Alto District School District even has a "Suspected Residency Violation Form" at https://www.pausd.org/registration/residency-important-information (Just an example within OP's state.)

So no, according to CA law, Mom is committing School Enrollment Fraud; the boy is enrolled in the wrong school, and can be, upon a district investigation revealing this, disenrolled. I do not know if there are any greater consequences in CA than this (fines?), but I suspect it depends on the school district.

I will note, the "Varsity Blues" college admissions scandal highlights what wealthy Southern Californians would do to help their children get an "educational advantage". Were it perfectly legal to enroll your child solely based on where you happened to own property, not where people actually reside, there would be a cottage industry of people jointly investing in properties for the purpose of school registration.
I am not going with my "gut" Red, I am going with the burden of proof. If the school challenges the enrollment in that district the school has to prove it. If mom owns the condo, and the utilities are in her name, then its going to be difficult for the school to meet their burden of proof. For example, since my daughter and grandchildren live with me, I have to provide the schools, on a yearly basis, proof that I own the house, and a couple of utility bills in my name. I have to certify that my daughter resides there (because I own the property).

Yes, its quite possible that mom is committing school enrollment fraud, and maybe even a guarantee that she is (although we are hearing a one sided story) however, it still has to be proven and my point was that it could be difficult to prove.
 


not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
I am not going with my "gut" Red, I am going with the burden of proof. If the school challenges the enrollment in that district the school has to prove it. If mom owns the condo, and the utilities are in her name, then its going to be difficult for the school to meet their burden of proof. For example, since my daughter and grandchildren live with me, I have to provide the schools, on a yearly basis, proof that I own the house, and a couple of utility bills in my name. I have to certify that my daughter resides there (because I own the property).

Yes, its quite possible that mom is committing school enrollment fraud, and maybe even a guarantee that she is (although we are hearing a one sided story) however, it still has to be proven and my point was that it could be difficult to prove.
And? You think I'm saying that school districts randomly contest residency without proof? No. They have investigators who pursue tips.

If you've had no direct experience with this yourself, then you should consider this thread from last month (which you responded to): https://forum.freeadvice.com/threads/law-about-district-attendance-officer-visiting-home-in-nj.656283/

And while that was in New Jersey, consider Beverly Hills (old news articles, but relevant): https://la.curbed.com/2014/8/26/10070730/beverly-hills-schools-to-charge-scofflaw-students-150-a-day, and https://patch.com/california/beverlyhills/bhusd-tightens-residency-documentation-requirements
Furthermore, even if Mom has used some loophole to legitimately enroll her son in an out of district school, Dad could reasonably high tail it to Family Court and question whether that enrollment is in the best interests of the child, since it is even further away from Dad.
 

Buds Gurl

Member
His mother does not want me at the parent/teacher conference but the school will only schedule one per student so I plan to attend anyway. I am not aware of any Kindergarten readiness testing...
 

t74

Member

t74

Member
His mother does not want me at the parent/teacher conference but the school will only schedule one per student so I plan to attend anyway. I am not aware of any Kindergarten readiness testing...
As long as you have legal right to attend school conferences, I would go to the superintendent's office to discuss a teacher conference with you alone since you apparently expect difficulties with mom if you attend. Schools are aware of warring parents even if only one has decided to dictate to them. Be sure you have yoru court orders showing you have the right to be involved in educational decisions/

I would suggest if you do attend the same session as mom that if things become difficult that you excuse yourself so as not to escalate the situation and head straight for the principal's office and request that you be allowed to conctinue the conference when mom is through. You want the school to know that you are interested and reasonable. If mom throws a tantrum because you are there, let her be the out of control, unreasonable parent.

Finally, as a last resort if you have the right to be involved with your child's education and the school is uncooperative, file a complaint with the Department of Education - likely the Office of Civil Rights but they can direct you to the proper entity. I have not dealt with the OCR for K-12 but have for college. It is amazing how the school straightens up when faced with a complaint on their file.
 

TigerD

Senior Member
OP - you and your ex don't seem to understand "joint legal custody". She doesn't get to make unilateral decisions regarding school choice and other things unless the Order says she does.

Talk to an attorney. And don't forget to seek an order requiring her to pay for your attorney fees.

TD
 

Buds Gurl

Member
I DO understand joint legal custody, it is she that doesn't seem to think that it applies to her. I did not agree on her school choice but decided not to rock the boat once she went ahead and enrolled him. I know that she did not have the right to sign him up for anything during my custodial time which is why I do not feel that I am wrong for not taking him to the sports that she put him in without my agreement.
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
I DO understand joint legal custody, it is she that doesn't seem to think that it applies to her. I did not agree on her school choice but decided not to rock the boat once she went ahead and enrolled him. I know that she did not have the right to sign him up for anything during my custodial time which is why I do not feel that I am wrong for not taking him to the sports that she put him in without my agreement.
You don't have to take him to the games unless ordered to by the judge.
 

t74

Member
She picked a sport for fall; you help him pick a sport for spring/summer in your community. Agree that both of you will take him to both - and be cordial to each other at the games. Get it court ordered so she cannot back out.

Imagine the thrill a child gets if all of his parents and steps are there cheering him on. It was not appropriate for her to schedule something on your time but if the child is enjoying it, don't take away his fun. One of my best observations was years ago when DH was coaching little kids soccer, one of his players had 4 parents at the game. They sat next to each other, and the most amazing thing was I overhead them discussing that the parent whose weekend it was had something not kid friendly come up that afternoon. They arranged for the other parent to have the time and the first parent would get the child after the event was over. Needless to say, that was one happy , well adjusted kid.
 

Buds Gurl

Member
She picked a sport for fall; you help him pick a sport for spring/summer in your community. Agree that both of you will take him to both - and be cordial to each other at the games. Get it court ordered so she cannot back out.

Imagine the thrill a child gets if all of his parents and steps are there cheering him on. It was not appropriate for her to schedule something on your time but if the child is enjoying it, don't take away his fun. One of my best observations was years ago when DH was coaching little kids soccer, one of his players had 4 parents at the game. They sat next to each other, and the most amazing thing was I overhead them discussing that the parent whose weekend it was had something not kid friendly come up that afternoon. They arranged for the other parent to have the time and the first parent would get the child after the event was over. Needless to say, that was one happy , well adjusted kid.
I appreciate what you're saying but I'm going to be honest here, she mentioned sports about 6 months ago and I was all for it, simply said that they needed to be in a location that was convenient for us both. Instead she became angry and decided not to put him in a sport. Now at the same time she decided that I cannot have visitation during the week any longer simply because he's in school, she suddenly put him in sports in a location 45minutes from me, I believe to prevent me from exercising my custodial time during the week and possibly more. I work full time, I have a family and an extended family. She is well aware that I would not be able to miss the amount of work that I would if I took him to and from games and practices during my custodial time, not to mention the time taken away from my families activities if I'm driving 1-1/2 hours plus game/practice time. I don't believe that I am being unreasonable and the only reason he would suffer is if she decides to make comments blaming ME for his lack of participation while he's with me instead of placing the blame on herself for not considering me in the first place, imho. It's an unfortunate, sticky situation, I get it, but she created it.
 

t74

Member
I appreciate what you're saying but I'm going to be honest here, she mentioned sports about 6 months ago and I was all for it, simply said that they needed to be in a location that was convenient for us both. Instead she became angry and decided not to put him in a sport. Now at the same time she decided that I cannot have visitation during the week any longer simply because he's in school, she suddenly put him in sports in a location 45minutes from me, I believe to prevent me from exercising my custodial time during the week and possibly more. I work full time, I have a family and an extended family. She is well aware that I would not be able to miss the amount of work that I would if I took him to and from games and practices during my custodial time, not to mention the time taken away from my families activities if I'm driving 1-1/2 hours plus game/practice time. I don't believe that I am being unreasonable and the only reason he would suffer is if she decides to make comments blaming ME for his lack of participation while he's with me instead of placing the blame on herself for not considering me in the first place, imho. It's an unfortunate, sticky situation, I get it, but she created it.
I know you are in a difficult position. Do the best you can; that is all you can do. If he doesn't participate on your time, it will not be the end of the world. Rest assured she will regret it when he is older.

Ask for the fairest orders you can. Assert your rights; be the reasonable parent in court. Take her for contempt when she does not comply. It may take a while; a young friend has been dealing with a difficult ex-wife for 9 years; the CS adjustment he filed for 5 years ago was finally resolved; she refused to provide her income info all of this time. Just don't let her damage your other relationships.

Look for a NCP support forum. You will likely hear horror stories that make you grateful that mom is just difficult and not totally crazy.
 

Buds Gurl

Member
I must wonder - does your son enjoy playing? Or is this about your guuurrrl?
It has just started, I believe he enjoys it. But no, for me it's definitely not about his mom. I'm usually the one giving in to avoid conflict but this time logistics and her overall ulterior motives prevent me from just going along with it this time.
 

stealth2

Under the Radar Member
It has just started, I believe he enjoys it. But no, for me it's definitely not about his mom. I'm usually the one giving in to avoid conflict but this time logistics and her overall ulterior motives prevent me from just going along with it this time.
Wrong gurl. But never mind.
 
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