Can Homeschooling Your Child Lead To Custody Issues?

If you don't care for the U.S. public school system, you have other options: you can send your child to a private school, a charter school, or an online school. You can also choose to homeschool your child. But can homeschooling your child lead to child abuse charges or lost custody? Maybe. Here's what you should know:L

Is Homeschooling Your Child Legal?

Homeschooling your child is legal has been legal in all 50 states since 1993. It wasn't always so, however. In the early days of the modern homeschool movement, uthorities would often step in and remove children from homeschooling parents under truancy laws.

However, homeschooling laws vary greatly by state. Some states require no notification by parents at all in order to proceed with homeschooling and some states require only minimal notification. Other states, however, are highly restrictive regarding homeschooling.

They require teaching certification for parents who homeschool plus things like a state-approved curriculum just to start. The educational progress of the child may be tracked through state mandated testing and home visits by state officials.

It's absolutely critical that you are following the laws of the state in which you live if you want to homeschool your child. Otherwise, you can be subject to fines and arrest and your child can still be removed from your home by Children's Services officials for truancy.

What If You And Your Child's Other Parent Don't Agree?

Homeschooling can become a touchy subject during a divorce when one parent objects to the arrangement and wants the child to attend a public or private school with other children. Sometimes the other parent will cite the limited curriculum offered by the homeschooling parent, especially if there is a religious component involved.

Sometimes, judges will agree. In one North Carolina case, a judge granted a divorcing father's request to force the mother to send their children to public school. While the judge said that religion wasn't the issue, he did cite his belief that it was in the best interest of the children to expose them to mainstream science, as opposed to the mother's creationism-based beliefs.

In other cases, one parent may simply feel that his or her child can benefit more from the socialization that public and private schools offer because other children are involved. If the court agrees that it's in your child's best interests, you could face losing primary custody to the other parent if you're unwilling to comply with the judge's order.

Homeschooling your child can develop into legal problems - with the state or with an ex-spouse. If homeschooling your child has led to a child custody issue you need to contact an attorney promptly in order to protect your family. To learn more, contact a company like Novenstern Fabriani & Gaudio, LLP with any questions you have.

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