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Why the Judge Doesn’t Want to Hear About School Ratings in Your Relocation Case

We have been involved in numerous custody cases in Missouri where one parent is requesting permission to relocate. The parent requesting to relocate always cites one of their reasons as better school ratings and more opportunities for their child. After trying a number of these cases, we feel compelled to tell you that judges don’t care about school ratings. Let me repeat it again. Judges do not care about school ratings. They know this is not your primary reason for wanting to relocate. This has even backfired for a few clients over the years. We once had a client who cited the poor school ratings in the current school district the child was in as a reason for wanting to relocate with the child. The unknowing client had no idea that the judge she was in front of sat on the local school board and was quite offended by the poor school ratings the school received. So, my advice to all of you wanting to relocate is this: Be honest about why you want to relocate your child and why you think the relocation would serve his or her best interests and not your own. Remember, judges are tasked with determining what is in the best interests of a child, not the parent. The best interests of the child come first so craft your arguments honestly and carefully. Leave school ratings out of it.