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Impact of School Performance on Child Custody Disputes in Kansas

Weber Law March 1, 2015

While parents and their children typically benefit when a child custody dispute is resolved amicably, there are certain custody cases that cannot be resolved without litigation. Child custody cases in Kansas can be contentious because parents are fighting to protect one of the most important things in their life – their parent-child relationship. Custody cases either arise out of the breakdown of a marriage or a relationship between unmarried parents. Parents usually break up because they are not getting along. The intense emotions that accompany the deterioration of a parental relationship often creates intense emotional barriers like jealousy, resentment, anger and fear that can color evidence presented in a custody case.

Wichita child custody attorney J. Joseph Weber often helps parents navigate this emotional minefield to avoid derailment of child custody settlement negotiations. Even when you work diligently to reach an amicable mutually agreeable child custody agreement, high conflict custody cases are sometimes unavoidable. When litigation is required to determine child custody orders, evidence of your child’s school performance is one of a range of factors that a judge, guardian ad litem or child custody evaluator will consider.

Family law judges in Kansas handle a high volume of child custody disputes, so they understand the hard feelings that can obscure the path to viable custody agreements. Because parents often present such divergent accounts of the facts and circumstances in a child custody case, judges look for verifiable evidence to shape parenting plans that are in the best interest of the children. While much of the evidence provided to a judge by either parent can be easily manipulated or distorted, school performance in the form of grades, discipline and social adjustment can provide an objective basis to evaluate whether the status quo is working or whether a change in timeshare arrangements might be appropriate.

The way that evidence related to school performance is used in a child custody dispute will depend on the circumstances of your situation. Judges and others involved in ordering or recommending parenting and custody arrangements often determine that thriving academically and socially at school is evidence of an informal child custody arrangement that is functioning well. When no custody orders are in place but the children are in your care the majority of the school week, the prospect of disrupting a timeshare arrangement that could adversely impact successful school performance often will give a judge pause. By the same token, the judge might be inclined to make a change if your child is performing poorly in school when the informal timeshare arrangement has the children with you during the bulk of the school week.

A parent’s report regarding the degree to which a child is thriving in school during an informal custody arrangement can be distorted by bias and hostility, but report cards, progress reports, letters from teachers, test performance and counseling reports provide objective evidence not subject to significant manipulation. Our Wichita child custody law firm works with parents to gather relevant school information and records to support our client’s position regarding the type of parenting plan that best serves our client’s interest.

If you have questions about child custody or other family law issues, we welcome the opportunity to talk to you and answer your questions. We invite you to call the Weber Law Office or to submit an inquiry form through this website to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced Wichita divorce attorney.