The decision to home school a child is a personal decision for every parent. There are many pros and cons you must weigh and communication between the spouses is paramount. Not all parents will agree with each other that homeschooling is appropriate. The challenge is even greater when the parents are divorced.
Joint legal custody
When the parents of a child finalize a divorce, typically they are awarded joint legal custody of the child. This means they share an equal right in making decisions about the child’s welfare, medical issues and schooling.
While most children will attend a formal school, sometimes a parent reaches the decision that homeschooling is better for their child. In the past year, the number of children being home schooled has expanded greatly, doubling from the number who were home schooled in the 2019-2020 school year.
When the courts get involved
Ideally, divorced parents will communicate and resolve the issue of schooling to the satisfaction of all. But if they cannot, the court will step in and make the decision. When the court does take a role, the wishes of the parents become secondary. Instead, the court will base its decision on what is in the best interest of the child.
There are many factors the court considers when making a decision regarding a child’s welfare, from their age and any preference they may have, to the testimony of outside experts. Some factors may carry more or less weight with the court depending on the circumstances. The capacity of the parents to provide an adequate education may have great influence on the court.
Not all decisions are easy following a divorce. If you and your ex-spouse are struggling with a homeschooling decision, it’s important that you understand the process involved if you’re unable to agree. Seek the advice of a knowledgeable professional to help you navigate the solutions.