Switching to another school? Permission of the other parent needed!

Published by: Fabrizia de Wit-Facchetti posted on 30 August 2016 reading time

If you exercise joint parental authority over your child, this means that you as parents need each other's permission to make important decisions about your (minor) child. If you, as a parent, feel that your child is not in the right place at his/her school, you can decide to transfer your child to another school.

The joint parental authority does imply that the other parent must give his or her consent. You will have to discuss this with the other parent. If you cannot agree on this together, you can either leave the situation as it is, or ask the court to give its approval. The agreement of the judge will then replace the lack of agreement of the other parent.

It is important, however, that you prove that the new school of your choice is better than the school the child is attending now. Think of school reports and interview reports of internal supervisors about the school development of the child. Only your own (subjective) experience that the new school is better for your child, is not enough.

We regularly assist divorced parents. This was also the case mentioned above, in which we assisted a divorced father as a lawyer. The mother filed an application with the District Court of Rotterdam to change the primary school of one of their children. Our lawyers defended the case on behalf of the father. The court rejected the mother's request, after a failed mediation attempt between the parties: the mother had not sufficiently substantiated her request to the court to grant substitute consent (see:ruling).

Are you considering a change of school for your child, or any other important change in the child's life, and can't manage to make arrangements with the other parent? Please contact Fabrizia de Wit-Facchetti.