When you are divorced, deciding to homeschool your child can be a huge issue.
When you have an ongoing child custody case, it’s quite easy to worry about every single thing and every single factor that has a potential impact on your case. Even without an ongoing child custody case, a lot of parents are considering homeschool for their child’s education. There are a lot of issues that might cause parents to make this decision. After all, it’s not exactly safe in the schools nowadays. It is something that is not easy to decide on even for parents who are together, hence, it’s even worse for those who are divorced. The main problem is usually about one parent objecting to the idea of homeschool. A lot of divorced parents are facing this type of difficulty. What should you do when this dilemma happens to you?
It’s not just a question of whether or not the current school your child is attending is good enough or not. It is also a matter of parental rights and duties. If you are a divorced parent who is considering homeschool for your child who is currently attending a normal school, you should know that this is not a matter that you should decide on lightly.
What the Law Says About This Issue
No matter what the unique circumstances may be surrounding your divorce, if you had gone through your divorce in court, you would see the parental rights and duties specified on the Final Divorce Decree, under Conservatorship. If you had gone through mediation, you would find this information on your Settlement Agreement as well. Hence, you must know that according to the Texas Family Code, every parent in Texas shares rights and duties with the child’s other parent. This, of course, covers educational, medical and psychiatric decisions. In the majority of cases, the court will order parents to work together when making changes to the previously mentioned areas. Hence, if you are thinking of homeschooling your child because of certain issues, you need to understand that you cannot make the decision by yourself. You need to communicate with your ex-spouse and you must decide together because you share the same parental rights and duties. If you can’t reach an agreement, you will need to call an expert third-party to ‘break the tie’.
Breaking The Tie
If one parent is insisting that the child is homeschooled, and the other parent is having none of it, you might have to take your case to court. Of course, there’s a chance that you can settle it outside of court but when nothing else works, you can always bring your issue to the court for the judge to decide on. The court will likely compare the curriculum in the public or private school your child is currently attending with the homeschooling one. Many areas will also be assessed like your or your spouse’s personal circumstances and skills that may be necessary for the homeschooling. The judge can make a decision depending on these things.
In cases wherein one parent already made the decision and acted on it, the other parent can still bring it to the court, especially if the decision was made without the knowledge of both parents. It could be easier for the court to make a decision in this case, since the performance of the child in a public or private school can be compared with the performance in homeschool. If there is a huge discrepancy and the court finds evidence that the child’s education has been neglected, appropriate measures will be taken for sure.
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