In a 2021 WalletHub study, Colorado ranked number five on the list of states with the most education. This underscores how important education is to most parents in the state. In the realm of child custody in Colorado, the right to make educational decisions is a key aspect of parental rights.
These decisions can become contentious, particularly when they involve sending a child to school out of the country. The prospect of an ex-spouse making such a decision without your consent can be alarming and challenging.
In Colorado, if parents share joint legal custody, also known as joint decision-making responsibility, both parents have equal rights to make major decisions for their child, including educational decisions. Under joint decision-making, one parent cannot decide to send the child to school out of the country without the other parent’s agreement.
However, if one parent holds sole decision-making responsibility, that parent has the legal right to make educational and other major decisions about the child’s life without seeking the other parent’s consent. This means that if an ex-spouse has sole decision-making authority, they could potentially decide to send the child to school abroad without getting the other parent’s approval.
Violation of parenting time
Nevertheless, even if an ex-spouse has sole decision-making responsibility, sending a child to school out of the country could violate the other parent’s rights to parenting time. Under Colorado law, both parents have a right to reasonable parenting time unless the court finds that it would endanger the child’s physical health or significantly impair the child’s emotional development.
If a parent’s decision to send a child to school out of the country interferes with the other parent’s right to parenting time, that parent could potentially seek legal recourse.
The ability of an ex-spouse to send a child to school out of the country without the other parent’s consent largely depends on the custody arrangement and the respective decision-making responsibilities of the parents. Colorado law places a high value on the rights of involvement in their children’s lives for both parents, and any action that infringes on these rights can be subject to challenge.