Child Custody - Fox v. Garzilli - Pa. Superior Court - May 13, 2005
Discussion of issue of where children should attend school
Parties share legal custody. Mother has primary physical custody.
Held, children should transfer and attend school in mother's district.
-- Trial court (TC) gave too little weight to fact that mother has primary physical custody.
-- Fact that children were doing well in father's district could not prevent mother from asking for change, where initial order was entered by agreement and without prejudice to either party asking for change. Mother agreed initially to father's district because children were already there at the time.
-- Requiring children to remain in father's district would result in substantial transportation responsbility and "burdensome commute" on mother.
-- Allowing children to go to school in district where they live would have favorable impact on their ability to establish friendships
-- Children are young, and to change schools now would be "proactive" and help avoid later problems.
-- Trial court should not have admitted hearsay testimony about children's preference
Don Marritz, MidPenn Legal Services