Judge Rules on Parental Notification Rights for Parents of Transgender Students

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Nov 03, 2023 | 0 Comments

In mid-August of 2023, Insider New Jersey reported on a decision by state Superior Court Judge David Bauman regarding transgender policies for school districts in Monmouth County, finding that the school districts may not enforce their controversial policies regarding their transgender students. The procedures required the districts to inform parents if their students requested gender-affirming accommodations at school, including name changes, pronoun usage/changes, or gender-specific bathroom accommodations. In response to these policies, the state's Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the Monmouth County school districts, claiming that the policies discriminated against transgender youth. The case is one of many controversies and conversations in the country regarding parental notification rights involving transgender students and gender-affirming care.

For separated or divorced parents, you may wonder if your ex-partner or spouse must inform you if your child is transgender and/or requesting gender-affirming care. Though the answer to this question is not a decided legal issue, it raises questions about parental rights and notification rights in custody disputes. If you are facing a child custody battle and need help navigating your parental rights, contact the Lento Law Firm Family Law Team or call (888) 535-3686 or our online contact form.

An Overview of Parental Rights

Custody battles can be viscous and incredibly nerve-wracking. From the onset of any custody battle, parents immediately want to know what they should ask for and what to expect in joint or sole custody requests. Many parents are not even aware of what parental rights they have and what may be at stake!

Educational Rights

As holders of a minor's educational rights, parents have the right to access their child's school records, attend meetings at their child's school, sign off on parental requests, etc. Parents can also opt their child out of certain lessons or activities that conflict with their religious or moral beliefs, such as sexual health education courses, assemblies, etc. If more severe incidents happen on campus, schools may be required to notify parents regarding specific incidents involving their child, such as bullying or medical emergencies.

Medical Rights

Generally, parental consent is required for most medical treatments for minors. However, there are exceptions, such as emergencies or specific services related to sexual and reproductive health, drug abuse, and mental health.

Religious Upbringing

Parents have the right to determine the religious upbringing of their child if it doesn't harm the child.

Custody and Visitation

Both parents generally have equal rights regarding child custody and visitation unless otherwise determined by the court based on the child's best interests. Therefore, courts most frequently default to joint custody orders unless there is good reason to order sole legal or physical custody. When one party seeks more custody than the other parent, they must show that this is in the child's best interest.

Child Discipline

Parents can discipline their children but must not cross into abuse or neglect.

Contact a New Jersey Child Custody Attorney Today

Protecting your child's future may depend on protecting and enforcing certain parental rights. Parental rights can become much more complicated and nuanced in child custody battles. Fortunately, you don't navigate the complexities alone. Our compassionate Family Law Team at the Lento Law Firm will ensure your family receives the representation it deserves. Contact us today at (888) 535-3686 or by using our online contact form.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings! He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and protects their interests.


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience practicing Family Law in New Jersey. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

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