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Navigating School Decisions When Going Through a Separation or Divorce

The month of September sees children returning to school after their summer holidays.  This busy time can have an added pressure for separating / divorcing couples who may not agree about key decisions such as which school the children should attend or who is responsible for paying the school fees, if the children attend fee-paying schools.


Such disagreements are potentially very unsettling for all the family as the children’s stability and education is, of course, crucial to their welfare. The sooner any such disputes are resolved, the better for all concerned.


Whilst the court can make orders about the payment of school fees, and the court can decide which school a child should attend, it is far better, quicker and cheaper in terms of legal fees to try to resolve these issues without making a court application. Below I explain some of the alternatives.

One option is to try to discuss matters with the help of an independent third party, namely a family law mediator, to see if talking in a neutral setting can help a consensus be reached.


Another option would be to sit round the table (or video conference) with your solicitor and your ex and his/her solicitor in the collaborative process, again to see if talking with legal advice on hand can resolve things.


A quick way to achieve a binding decision without the need to get the court involved if the above do not work or are not the right ways of moving forward for you, is for you and your ex to appoint a family law arbitrator. The arbitrator is a specialist in family law and his/her decision is legally binding.


Going through a separation or divorce can be a very stressful and emotional time and we’re here to help guide you through this journey. If you would like more information or need help or advice about a family law matter, family mediation or the collaborative process please contact Sarah French on 01962 841484 or