MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Change of schools

Filed under: General — Pritchards @ 11:59 am Mon 20th March 2017

Hi all
with shared custody of a child do you have to get agreement before changing school (primary school?

many thanks!


  1. This is where you use mediation services such as FDR and when you can’t come to an agreement it goes to the courts.
    Health and education are matters of joint guardianship.
    But you need to have good rational reasons about the school of your choice (or to reject the other parties choice).
    Once the kid is 12 the FC will “respect the child’s wishes” even if the kid is failing because the school is useless. We know this 2x over and now are paying $$$ to help the elder child make up for lost time at 20.

    Comment by QuirkyFriend — Mon 20th March 2017 @ 2:59 pm

  2. #1 QuirkyFriend

    Thanks for the advice and sorry to hear of your issues with FC.

    Comment by Pritchards — Tue 21st March 2017 @ 1:01 am

  3. There is the shoot first ask questions later approach which can work but generally doesn’t with specialist healthcare decisions.
    We’ve also had a 3 year fight to date to get younger child assessed for ASD/ADHD.

    Comment by QuirkyFriend — Tue 21st March 2017 @ 10:42 am

  4. Depends if he’s paying half the school fees (over and above his Child Support payments.) Then, he may have a very small leg to stand on. However, if he is NOT paying extra, change the school and let him argue the matter in Court. That will take MONTHS and by then it would be simple to argue that the child is now settled in the new school and returning the child to the old school would be disruptive to the child’s learning etc. Cynics like me would say that the Family Court delays hearing cases like this and ones where one parent moves away with the child on purpose. The Court uses the exact same reasoning I suggested above. They refuse to acknowledge that their “delay” aids in their decision making process.

    Comment by golfa — Tue 21st March 2017 @ 2:41 pm

  5. #4 no he pays no school fees at all. Thanks for your insights, very interesting.

    Comment by Pritchards — Tue 21st March 2017 @ 7:58 pm

  6. Well, predictably, through his lawyer he is demanding that we move the child back to her previous school.
    Not paying any school fees, just sitting on his arse on the other side of the globe.

    Comment by Pritchards — Tue 28th March 2017 @ 11:53 am

  7. #6 Ignore it. Don’t even reply to his Lawyer’s letter. Unless of course, you want his Lawyer to bill him for sending him a copy of your refusal letter ?

    Comment by golfa — Tue 28th March 2017 @ 6:30 pm

  8. We replied directly. very sorry for not consulting etc etc as he had never objected our choices before, here is some more info on the school, end of (as far as we are concerned, anyway).

    Better to try and be civil, for the record if nothing else.

    Comment by Pritchards — Tue 28th March 2017 @ 8:03 pm

  9. Comment by Mits — Wed 29th March 2017 @ 8:44 am

  10. #9 don’t think I wrote i was trying so hard to be positive , but hey ho.
    Just venting a bit in an anonymous chat forum while seeking some guidance.
    I’ll save the PC b#shit about always being positive for the courts.

    Comment by Pritchards — Sun 2nd April 2017 @ 7:38 am

  11. In NZ guardianship includes both parents’ rights to participate meaningfully in choices for the children, including (and especially) schools. When one parent fires ahead with changing schools or schooling (e.g. starts ‘home schooling’) without gaining agreement from the other parent, this is against the spirit and letter of the law. You can expect the other parent then to object and to take action. In practice, when women make unilateral changes to children’s schooling the Family Court sits on its hands and then eventually decides that the new arrangement is now the established one, but when men do it the Family Court is much more likely to conduct urgent hearings and to issue orders prohibiting the change. In fact, the educational authorities will go ahead with changes purely on the mother’s initiation but will seek the mother’s views if a father tries to initiate such changes. This is the sexist society we live in.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Sun 2nd April 2017 @ 10:14 am

  12. I strongly disagree with your statement MOMA.

    When the Guardianship Act existed, guardianship generally sat with the father and mother, excepting unusual circumstances, and the state intervened by way of arbitration of disputes.

    Now guardianship sits with the State. Generally the management of guardianship is left to parents, and the State intervenes on behalf of the child, regardless of whose behavior or application causes the intervention.

    The gender bias, although obvious, is irrelevant.

    I’m not saying this is ‘right’ … understanding the current legal thought process, is important in showing how far we have moved away from what the populous believes or thinks is the norm.

    While we do have a High Court decision, that the removal of a man’s guardianship (by the family court) is repugnant to justice, I don’t interperate that from the view of defending a man’s rights, but of the state not obsolving its responsibility in law.

    You are approaching this on the basis of adult rights, but the law approaches this of the basis of child rights.

    It you approach the situation from this direction you can see how the law and the State ‘effectively justifies’ its sexist behvaiour.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 3rd April 2017 @ 7:28 am

  13. It’s a bit of a tricky one, but that should be

    Both (parent’s rights)

    Comment by grammarnazi — Mon 3rd April 2017 @ 11:20 am

  14. grammarnazi #13: We don’t think so. The rights of both parents are both parents’ rights. The rights of 100 parents would be 100 parents’ rights. Your apostrophe would fit if the phrase were ‘either parent’s rights’. I’m not sure how your parentheses relate to the grammar.

    Your version could be almost correct if one were referring to the phenomenon ‘parent’s rights’, but one would then need to say ‘both parents’ parent’s rights’. Another example might clarify this: ‘both neighbours’ citizen’s rights’. However, for parents it would be less cumbersome to say ‘both parents’ parenting rights’.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Mon 3rd April 2017 @ 6:29 pm

  15. Downunder #12: Please direct us to the legislation that removed guardianship from parents.

    We agree that the concept of ‘the best interests of the child’ now conveniently allows Courts to usurp any parental rights and that the definition of ‘guardian’ was eroded by that. However, it remains the case that parents are guardians and it’s rare for the Court to remove guardianship status from a parent. The mother is always automatically a guardian and the father also if acknowledged on the birth certificate or if he lived with the mother. The Family Court does often order a ‘day-to-day care’ parent to consult and to reach agreement with the other parent (guardian) about schooling decisions, but the Court will do so if the parents can’t reach agreement. To that extent the state has ultimate guardianship power. However, for the purposes of this MENZ Issues thread, the relevant poster needs to understand that the other parent does have guardianship rights and needs to be consulted about school placements.

    The Care of Children Act 2004 section 17(1) states ‘The father and the mother of a child are guardians jointly of the child unless the child’s mother is the sole guardian of the child because of subsection (2) or subsection (3).’

    Section 16(1) states ‘The duties, powers, rights, and responsibilities of a guardian of a child include (without limitation) the guardian’s— (c) determining for or with the child, or helping the child to determine, questions about important matters affecting the child.’

    and Section 16(2) states ‘Important matters affecting the child include (without limitation)— (d) where, and how, the child is to be educated…’

    The main sexism, and it’s a huge one, in the Act is that the mother will be automatically sole guardian if the father was not living with the mother during the gestation period or at birth and the mother chooses not to put his name on the birth certificate. This one of the number of our laws written in gender-specific terms and like all the others it favours the woman and disadvantages the man. In this particular case it also disadvantages the child.

    The other sexism around guardianship relate to time delays leading Courts to determine that (usually) the mother’s unilaterally chosen schooling or other arrangement has now become the established pattern and shouldn’t be changed, or in other cases to the favouritism generally shown to women and mothers in Court disputes.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Mon 3rd April 2017 @ 7:10 pm

  16. #15

    my understanding is that the day-to-day care parent has a duty to consult.
    I’m not sure about the agreement bit.

    I’m just going on what a lawyer has advise, I haven’t researched it.

    Comment by Pritchards — Mon 3rd April 2017 @ 8:34 pm

  17. #14 The meaning and function of the word both, requires two distinct objects.

    If you were talking about a mother’s rights and a father’s rights the issue wouldn’t arise.

    You are referring to one parent’s rights and the other parent’s rights.

    You don’t lose the singular possessive because you’ve chosen to use the abbreviated form of

    Both parent’s rights

    The phrase both parent’s rights need to be respected may help you understand this.

    Comment by grammarnazi — Tue 4th April 2017 @ 6:23 am

  18. grammarnazi, #17: Makes no sense to me. The phrase ‘two parents’ also requires two distinct objects but is essentially no different in treating the word ‘parents’ as plural. You seem to be confusing the word ‘both’ with the word ‘each’. The word ‘both’ in this context refers to two people identified together. The Oxford definition of ‘both’ includes ‘Used for emphasis to refer to two people or things, regarded and identified together’. I don’t wish to waste further space here arguing about this but I would be interested in any authorities that might support your claim.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Tue 4th April 2017 @ 8:24 am

  19. #18

    makes no sense to me

    I realise this, so I will persevere.

    In the context that you have written this, you are talking about, one, not to the exclusion of the other.

    Which is what is what both means, and if you want to look at the psychology of this, that’s the reason you chose the word both, because your emphasis is on one parent’s rights being ignored.

    Naturally, you used the word correctly, then tried to apply a grammar possession rule to what you had said.

    Neither the parent’s rights or the parents’ rights is incorrect until you put other words around them.

    The law includes both ‘the’ parent’s rights.

    The court should take into account both parents’ rights and parents’ responsibilities

    They endeavored to reconcile their differing positions and were gentleman both.

    Comment by grammarnazi — Tue 4th April 2017 @ 10:03 am

  20. If we look back to the days of the Guardianship Act and ask how might someone have defined guardianship the proper response would have been to defend that person.

    If relation to a child that meant giving the child the best upbringing posible, or perhaps defending traditional beliefs, so the adult had a foundation in life to relate to.

    Different people had different specifics, but the general idea was to defend the upbringing of the child.

    When the Guardianship Act was repealed, mothers and fathers lost guardianship of their children to the State. That defensive position is now occupied by the State.

    The word guardianship may still be used, but in the change as often happens was redefined to mean what you describe.

    Paticipation in that guardianship.

    The best interests of the child concept was what was used to undermine parental authority back in the days of the Guardianship Act.

    Now it is used to justify the State’s desired position. It is used in a different way.

    The majority of the population is oblivious to how the law is operating around them, even if they are subjected to consequences of it, they simply don’t understand the reasoning used to justify the situation.

    The more the feminist agenda unfolds the more the State is forced to find a justification for its actions, which become further removed from the common sense of the population.

    When we talk about guardianship there is a difference between our understandings of what this word represents.

    I go back to where I started.

    We are not guardians of our children. Merely participants in the legal guardianship that is offered by the State.

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 4th April 2017 @ 10:54 am

  21. Downunder @20;
    That is well written and exactly right. There was a meeting at my dinner table. Me, my wife, our two kids and two CYPS Anti-Social workers. They had gotten a hold of our daughters and spouted “We only have the children’s best interests at heart!”
    I replied that we were all there because we had the children’s best interests at heart – the two bitches glanced at eachother as if what I said was really stupid. Today the record shows CYPSs never had the children’s best interests at heart, emotional or physiological. Indeed the anti-social workers went on to abuse the kids – all with state approval – they even got paid to do it.
    They can do it because they are free to flood their propaganda onto the un thinking public, and because they have unlimited access to spend the Tax payer’s hard earned against us.

    Comment by Jerry — Tue 4th April 2017 @ 11:38 am

  22. grammarnazi @18; What are you up to? I doubt many folks these days are pedantic about grammar, but still get their point across so as to be understood. Take a look at my stuff if you want to buzz about grammar, spelling and typos infringements. That should give you some fun, but I won’t bother responding – I’m too busy trying to help someone.
    I dispute your reasoning – singular vs plural. There was a time when parents were supposed to be a “team” (ie: plural) ruling their family. As such, talking about them collectively should be okay – always has been in the world I grew up in. And the parent team should have rights and also a sovereignty over their family household.
    Individual rights only become applicable when the unity is fractured somehow.
    Its when you view the team as individuals that the team tradition gets tortured. But this gender split is principally coming from one gender. Of course that is a generality, and their are random cases – but this generally hold true.
    I wonder why you expend the energy on that as opposed to contributing constructively to some solution which will help someone in distress, or change policy?
    And then I meet no others like you. Sure there are a few, but among the general population we almost never encounter them. People are peer driven, so the grammar folks use here is will strongly represent the most popular useage. How you might cringe when TXT language replaces English and Grammar. Its coming. I’ve saw that a school was accepting TXT language in school-work. I reckon you are fighting a hopeless battle.
    Language is constantly evolving – trying to make it stand still is a waste of effort.

    Comment by Jerry — Tue 4th April 2017 @ 12:03 pm

  23. Thanks all of you – very useful background and debate (for me at least)

    Comment by Pritchards — Wed 5th April 2017 @ 8:53 am

  24. @Jerry #22

    It appears there is no resolution to the difference of opinion in this dispute over where the possessive apostrophe should go. Which school of thought is right?

    Perhaps we should head to court for a resolution?

    MOMA says that his grammar rule applies regardless of anything else. That’s the rule and that’s that.


    Comment by grammarnazi — Wed 5th April 2017 @ 11:39 am

  25. I say that the parent’s rights is correct because even though it is only written once, the abbreviated form represents the two seoarate parents who have rights.

    Logically this fits with the law of the idividual concept, that these are two separate parents, and not a collective, and represents the law’s position.

    There’s a second point, that MOMA wants to use the ‘inclusive’ sense of both but I am want to use the ‘not to the exclusion of the other’ sense of the definition.

    Whose version best reflects the position of the law and would give the best understanding of how the law relates to parent’s rights or parents’ rights?

    If you were the judge, what would your decision be?

    Comment by grammarnazi — Wed 5th April 2017 @ 11:52 am

  26. grammarnazi, We repeat our earlier request for any authorities supporting your claim. We would also be interested in any examples of your version in literary works.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Wed 5th April 2017 @ 8:04 pm

  27. What are “seoarate parents?”

    Comment by Jerry — Wed 5th April 2017 @ 8:41 pm

  28. Jerry, it’s an alternative fact form of spelling.

    Comment by Man X Norton — Wed 5th April 2017 @ 11:03 pm

  29. What dictionery is it to be found in? Maybe my history is rusty – but didn’t the nazi’s lose, and got a lot of stuff wrong? Anyway the only reason I dabbled with this is for me, and pedantic exploration of gramatical nuances is a complete waste of time and energy in this day and age, let alone on this site where most have so many more important pressing issues. As for any judiciary getting hooked up on a pedantic nuance, then sure they might, but this will make no difference. Of all the documents I received from &Caughts$ Judges and judiciary have no sense of manners, spelling grammar or anything else. Utterly and uncaringly negligent beyond the bounds of being plausibly accidental. So I will never see them as faithful loyal apostles of Madam Justice. More faithful to Whiskey I reckon. I will point out for any pedantic nazis that I have already admitted to being imperfect – so imperfect I even built errors into this literary masterpiece – 🙂

    Comment by Jerry — Thu 6th April 2017 @ 5:40 am

  30. Further to my previous where I doubt that judges or anyone in or around the legal proces is concerned with grammar or accuracy. In fact I am currently the respondent to a vexatious Small claims tribunal action. I was ambushed. But tonight I received an email from the court case worker. Although sent to me, and the content is for me, its addressed to the applicant. How sloppy can anyone get. The paragraphs inside it have no punctuation at all, and need careful reading to be sensible, even to an illiterate like me 🙂 So I maintain that no $Caught$ player is likely to become anal about grammar . . . . . is as likely as the proverbial herd of pigs flying, unless their is some other random motive for doing so – which could well be basis for appeal.
    But its not the first time for us. The 1996 custody order also had worse errors – but they knew what they meant, even if they wrote something else on the order – and this passes for our Judiciary…. yeah Right.

    Comment by Jerry — Thu 6th April 2017 @ 8:14 pm

  31. Yes. A typo.

    But let’s not be distracted.

    As for authorities. The apostrophe is a more recent innovation in written English. Its origins are unclear, its use an unresolved matter of debate, but we do agree on its purpose, to clarify meaning.

    Texting was mentioned above, as a new form of writing. I disagree. Youth of every generation develop their own coded language, their privacy from adults. It represents this typical social phenomenon in our time and will disappear according to the technologies of the next generation.

    Some have suggested we do away with the apostrophe, that it relates to a past era or perhaps error.

    If nothing else it serves a purpose in this debate.

    Let’s go back to which meaning of both.

    The inclusive form of both, might suggest that the law just includes individual rights, but the, not to the exclusion of the other form, might better represent that the law expresses a duty to consult.

    Then if we return to the both parents/apostrophe debate and replace parents with individuals which of the following best represents the position of the law.

    Both individual’s rights or both individuals’ rights.

    Comment by grammarnazi — Fri 7th April 2017 @ 7:58 am

  32. The law?

    I see on Stuff this morning an article about a new organisation called ‘Backbone’ the purpose of which is to explain to government, that the Family Court is failing women and their children.

    What is the law? A representation of our social mores or a pandering pussy cat, for protection of the unsophisticated woman, against the rapacious pandouroys, who threatened their existence.

    If the law serves only the purpose of wasted skin, then parliament represents but a small minority of us, who will blossom, fruit, and become an invasive weed.

    Comment by Downunder — Fri 7th April 2017 @ 8:42 am

  33. grammarnazi, We repeat our earlier request for any authorities supporting your claim. We would also be interested in any examples of your version in literary works.

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Fri 7th April 2017 @ 10:03 pm

  34. Rinse and Repeat, MOMA.

    Repeated assertion – otherwise known as the shampoo approach.

    Comment by grammarnazi — Sat 8th April 2017 @ 6:55 am

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