What if my co-parent and I can’t agree on homeschool vs public school?
One of a parent’s most significant concerns when raising their child is education. You want your child to attend a school where they can mold their skills and create a bright future for themselves. That’s why parents spend a lot of time and have tons of considerations when it comes to choosing a school their child will be attending.
It’s natural for parents to disagree with each other when faced with significant decisions for their child. But the disagreements can be much more difficult to manage in case of divorced couples who have joint custody of their child.
A lot of divorced couples want to know what happens if they do disagree about where to send their child to school — either public school or homeschooling.
Who can decide?
The law gives the power of deciding where the child will go to school, as well as other major life decisions, to the parent with legal custody. If the custody arrangement is joint, then both parents have an equal say in matters such as education, religion, extra-curricular activities, and medical care, among others.
Since both parents have joint parental rights and responsibilities, they have to consult each other and make parental decisions together. In case one of you wants your child to go to public school and the other wants the child to be homeschooled, what relief can you seek from court?
What can the court do?
Many divorced couples think that the court can decide on matters regarding the child’s upbringing when they are in disagreement. But the truth is that the court will not take sides and decide for you.
Instead, a judge will resort to awarding sole educational decision-making to one party. Usually, this right is awarded to the parent who the child is residing with, since they are considered as the primary parent. If both parents are equal in this regard, then you need to seek a modification of educational decision-making rights.
But in doing so, the court, as always, will take into serious consideration the best interest of the child. Align your position with the best interest factors in Statute 14-10-124 and consider asking a lawyer to help you form your case. Remember: you need to properly communicate why your position is better than your ex’s and how this will be to the child’s benefit.