For those of you that are attempting to co-parent children after a dissolution or paternity action, the access to school information, academic records, behavioral reports and other school related matters can be rather frustrating if one parent unilaterally prohibits your access. So often, I hear that the school is restricting access to records or placing a series of obstacles in front of a parent attempting to gather information regarding his/her child’s performance and progress in school. While frustrating for many, the solution to this problem is often something that can be resolved. This problem appears to be is more prevalent for non-married fathers.
Do you have a complete Parenting Plan? If the answer to this question is no then you must get one established as soon as possible. Parenting Plans address and resolve the issues that parties experience when raising children in two separate homes. The Parenting Plan will set forward parental responsibility, time-sharing, decision making authority, child support, tax dependency and a range of other specifically tailored matters for your situation.
All parents should have accessibility to school records for their children to determine how his/her child(ren) are performing academically, and they should be in touch with the school teachers and administrators on a frequent and continuing basis. If for any reason an employee of the school attempts to prevent this access the school administration should be immediately notified and a copy of the Parenting Plan and the Order Approving said Plan should be promptly provided to the school. This puts the school on notice that a Court Order exists authorizing you to have full and complete access to the school records and their prevention of the same would place the individuals involved in direct violation of a Court Order. If your Parenting Plan does not have language protecting your right to access school records for your children, then you should seek to add a clause authorizing full and complete access to your child’s academic records immediately.
Do not let anybody at the school attempt to restrict you from viewing your child’s school records. You have a right to access these records and we strongly encourage you to do so as often as possible (as long as there is not a specific court order prohibiting the same).
If you need assistance drafting a complete Parenting Plan or amending the one you have please contact the experienced attorneys at Schwam-Wilcox & Associates.