To homeschool or not? When school becomes a custody issue

| Aug 14, 2020 | Family Law |

Generally speaking, parenting plans following a divorce are not locked into place. Things change, and parents adapt. As long as you and your ex-spouse agree on what needs to be done, there’s not usually a problem.

But what happens when you have a disagreement over something big, like whether your child should be homeschooled. Maybe you think your child needs socialization, but your ex-spouse thinks it’s safer for your child to be schooled online. Maybe you want your child to get a broad, public education and your ex-spouse has adopted more rigid views and wants your child protected from what she sees as indoctrination in the public schools.

What happens now? When parents are this far apart on an issue that’s important, it usually ends up being disputed in court. You can generally expect the court to make a ruling in line with whatever is in the best interests of your child.

In Pennsylvania, one of those factors is “the need for stability and continuity in the child’s education, family life and community life.” That would tend to suggest that the court may be inclined to preserve the status quo regarding your child’s education if that is an option. If you’re against homeschooling, that may be an avenue to pursue. You may also want to address your ex-spouse’s ability to properly educate your child at home — and any limitations that may exist.

Disputes over parenting can lead to ugly battles over custody and more. It’s smart to get the take of an experienced advocate before you decide how to proceed.

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