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Home Schooling and Divorce


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Hi my name is Karen I have a 15 year old daughter. She has struggled all through school. I have decided to take her out of public schools and homeschool her. Her father and I have been divorced for 12 years he is not very active in her life except he tries to stop me from doing what I feel and think are in her best interrest. Anyway, I know once I take her out of the public school he will take me to court and try to have it stopped. My lawyer has advised me of the following; make sure she does her school work and gets her grades up and keep them up. become a member of a local support group to show she is having a social setting and not at home 24/7 she is interacting with other childer both her age and younger as well as older. Keep documents of everything grades, outings.

 

My question is am I missing anyting? Should I be doing anything else to help us prove to the judge what I am doing is the right thing for her.

Any advise would be great.

 

Thanks

Karen :)

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Hi Karen!:seeya:

 

As a recovering divorce attorney, I think you have been given good advice. The most important thing is to always focus on "the best interests of the child." Be able to back up your reasoning as to why homeschooling is in the best interests of your daughter. Have specific examples ready for the judge. Document everything! Keep any tests you give her, copies of curriculum you use, examples of work she does. Keep it organized. Be ready to show it all to the judge to prove she is working and learning. Lots of moms (and some dads too I suppose) have had to defend homeschooling in court against an ex-spouse who is vindictive or who doesn't know any better. You will be able to do it too.

 

Good luck!

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Ok, so I should also print and keep all the test she takes and get her current grades from the public school so the judge can see the difference the homeschooling is having on her. Should I document her behavior with the other children when we go on the field trips?:blink:

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Yes, document the grades - before and after. I wouldn't worry about "documenting" the behavior on field trips but I might consider keeping a list of other adults who have seen your daughter and how she interacts with kids. They can be potential witnesses in the future. Also, your daughter is old enough that a judge might actually ask her opinion about the switch. Is she on board with it?

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I have sent in the form to become a member of the HSLD I have paid the member fee and I spoke with someone there before I did anything other than speak to my lawyer. HSLD said they do not get involved with divorce cases however they could assist my lawyer in the defending homeschool part of it when it come to it.

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I have sent in the form to become a member of the HSLD I have paid the member fee and I spoke with someone there before I did anything other than speak to my lawyer. HSLD said they do not get involved with divorce cases however they could assist my lawyer in the defending homeschool part of it when it come to it.

 

They won't get involved in the divorce case, BUT if he tries to call social services because you are not "taking her to school" they will help you. You will be able to call them before letting anyone into the home and their lawyer will help you if it has to do with homeschooling. I don't know if your X would do this or not, but some would.

Melissa

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He would thats why I called my lawyer first. Then started gathering the information to actually homeschool her. The school told her yesterday I could not homeschool her without his permission and he would have to sign some papers. But I think that is wrong because I am sending them a letter informing them of my intent to homeschool her. Now if the school doesnt inform him maybe it will take him a while to learn about me taking her out and we can get some grades done and be ready for the courts when he does take me in front of the judge.

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He would thats why I called my lawyer first. Then started gathering the information to actually homeschool her. The school told her yesterday I could not homeschool her without his permission and he would have to sign some papers. But I think that is wrong because I am sending them a letter informing them of my intent to homeschool her. Now if the school doesnt inform him maybe it will take him a while to learn about me taking her out and we can get some grades done and be ready for the courts when he does take me in front of the judge.

 

I have lived in several states with the military and my experience has been that the school system knows the LEAST about the laws. If they told you that you had to have your husband's permission to withdraw her from school, then that sounds like another example of them making up their own rules. Please tell us what state you live in if you haven't already. Maybe I missed it.

 

Do you have joint or sole legal custody? This makes a difference.

 

I am a divorced mom so I understand your anxiety. You can privately IM me if you want.

 

My last suggestion is that if you suspect you will be having trouble, go ahead and enroll in one of the accredited schools. For example, one of my daughters is going through the Texas Virtual Academy which is actually through the public school system and is publicly funded. She has to be enrolled in the public school to go there. Due to this fact we are NOT considered homeschoolers since this is a public school only the campus is "virtual". I suggest something like this in the beginning b/c your ex husband would be opposing a public school NOT a homeschool in this situation. Plus all the testing, records etc. are kept for you. If you have one in your state they are free and provide you all materials and a computer. You are assigned a state certified teacher and you have local representation. You could probably even get someone from the Academy to go into court with you possibly to represent the validity of the school. If you ask me, this is the way to go when you have someone threatening to question the legality of what you are doing. This way it makes it very hard on the judge to say what you are doing is not legal when it's just essentially another campus of a public school. There are other similar programs. This way if you ge a judge that is "iffy" about homeschooling, you can prove that you are going through an accredited school.

 

Once your ex has his say, loses, and gets out of your business...then you can feel free to homeschool any way you want . Also, I believe at 16 you can take the GED. I might be wrong but I believe so. So it is already very close to the legal age of not being required under law to attend school. So do not fear. I think you are in a good position.

Edited by iluvmy4blessings
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I am a divorced, homeschooling mom.

 

I'd add to the above a suggestion that you not predominantly use conservative religious curriculum.

 

Since your dd is in High School, appropriate (and probably secular) math and science are important.

 

You'd do well to build a transcript and college plans in a documented format.

 

I'm using Homeschool Tracker, and I wish I had used it sooner. I live in a state where it's "easy" to homeschool but for legal reasons, I am documenting everything.

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HSLDA does not get involved in domestic matters.

 

No experience or advice. I wonder if joining HSLDA would be helpful. Maybe you would be able to get some legal advice or help from them? Hopefully someone else with some experience will be able to answer.
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Sorry, but if you have joint custody (on paper, I realize reality is different in your case) he probably DOES need to be notified asap, just to keep the legalities of the situation clear. Otherwise, you might get into hot water with a judge.

 

If you have sole custody, then you are free and clear to make decisions like homeschooling without his consent.

 

I would document stuff like her grades now, her detentions (if any) etc. Then have the comparison with homeschooling her.

 

Anything you can do that shows homeschooling is benefitting her above what ps did is all to the good. And document, document, document. A bound book (ie not a spiral notebook) is especially good, as they are often accepted as evidence, since if pages are ripped out its obvious.

 

And pp are right...your dd is at an age that the courts WILL listen to what she wants as well.

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I have primary custody of her but we do have joint custody. He hasnt had alot to do with her for the past 2 years. I think she has seen him maybe 3 times because he was upset with her and told her not to come over there until he was ready for her to. When the trouble at the ps started I went out to the school and told them I wanted infor on homeschooling they didnt have any. I told her then to talk to her dad and get his thoughts on her being homeschooled. He did not bother to call her and ask her why what is going on he called my older son and asked him then he called the school. After that he still would not talk to her about it all. When she asked him again if she could call him and they talk about it he said no and you will not be homeschooled I will stop it! So, thats when I called my attorney and talked to him about all of it. :ack2:

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My two older dc are from a previous marriage. We have joint custody, but I am the primary custodial parent. Our court papers clearly state that in all choices involving education I am the final authority in decision making. For disputes not detailed in the papers we must go through the Lutheran clergy prior to filing in court. I am so thankful for the wording in our papers and truly feel that it has kept xh from taking me back to court.

 

So, if you have joint custody and your paperwork doesn't list you as the final authority in this matter, then your xh will at least have grounds to take you to court if he wants to do so.

 

As a side note, SOS is religious. If you feel that this will be something that xh will use against you, you may want to consider something else.

 

:grouphug:-

Mandy

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Considering the fact that in most places you can actually drop right out of high school at 16 and *nobody* can do a darn thing about it, I just can't imagine this going very far. If the girl herself is 100% behind homeschooling, happy & content with her living situation, safe & healthy, etc etc... I just can't see a judge trying to change that. I mean - at 15??:confused:

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Considering the fact that in most places you can actually drop right out of high school at 16 and *nobody* can do a darn thing about it, I just can't imagine this going very far. If the girl herself is 100% behind homeschooling, happy & content with her living situation, safe & healthy, etc etc... I just can't see a judge trying to change that. I mean - at 15??:confused:

 

I was thinking along these same lines. If he causes a problem, can your attorney push for delays and continuances until she's of the age to legally withdraw from school? Once she's out of the school system legally she can homeschool with you, or so it would seem. There are many variables however, included the age to drop out, the divorce agreement, etc.

 

Good luck with whatever you choose to do. I hope it works out in your daughter's best interest!

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