Unfortunately, the law often does not provide clear guidance to school officials about how to resolve custody conflicts between parents or other caretakers. Therefore, it is important that school officials establish guidelines to deal with these conflicts.
School policies should be designed to minimize custodial conflicts and encourage parents and other caretakers to resolve these disputes away from the school grounds. These guidelines are offered as examples of policies that may assist school officials in managing custodial disputes.
When a child is enrolled the school should:
1. Ask for information about the marital status of the student's parents and, if the parents are not living together, ask about the child custody arrangements;
2. Obtain identifying information about the child's parents if the child is living with someone other than the parents;
3. Ask for copies of the most recent court orders, separation agreements, or other documents affecting the child's custody or legal status;
4. Inform parents or caretakers, in writing, of the school's policies relating to visiting students during schol hours and removing students from school during school hours; and
5. Make it clear that the information is requested to protect parents' rights and safeguard students.