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Can one parent pull the children from school to homeschool them?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2023 | child custody

The school that a child attends can have a profound impact on their future. The curriculum at the institution determines what they learn, and the relationships that they establish at school can influence their opportunities for years to come. From the colleges they can attend to the jobs they can secure, much of a child’s future opportunities will reflect the education they receive as a minor.

Most families in Florida make use of the public school system, but there are some families that prefer private education. There are also some families that homeschool their children. Those still married or cohabitating often have lengthy conversations about any educational decisions for their children. Those who share custody may not have such a cooperative approach.

Parents may disagree about the right educational opportunities for their children. Can one parent simply pull the children out of public school with the intent of homeschooling them in a shared custody scenario?

A parenting plan generally determines who makes choices

The rights of each parent are a reflection of the terms established in the parenting plan or custody order for the family. Typically, judges want both parents to have time with the children and a degree of decision-making authority.

Most parenting plans require parental cooperation on major issues, which means that parents have to reach a mutual agreement about major changes in a shared custody scenario. However, there are some times when changes are necessary but agreement seems impossible. Parents struggling to compromise on how they raise their children may need to go back to court to request a custody modification.

A judge could either include new rules in the parenting plan to specifically address the decision-making authority for educational matters, or they could resolve the current dispute between the parents by ruling if the homeschooling move is permissible or not.

Ideally, parents will find a way to communicate with one another and cooperate to support whatever is best for their children. However, not every family can achieve that approach. Understanding the terms of a custody agreement and knowing when to request a modification can benefit those who do not currently agree with their child’s other parent about the education that the child should receive.