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Are there child custody rules about homeschooling?

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2022 | Child Custody

If you’re one of many Minnesota parents who will be filing for divorce this year, you no doubt want to make the process as painless as possible for your children. You and your spouse must resolve numerous child-related issues to lay the groundwork for a child custody agreement as you move on in life without each other. If you’re a homeschooling parent or are considering homeschooling as a primary means of education, there are several things you’ll want to keep in mind.

It’s critical that you understand the child custody guidelines in this state to avoid confusion or negative surprises in court. Making decisions about your children’s education is part of the legal custody category. It’s possible to have sole legal custody of your children. It is also possible to share legal custody, in which case, you and your co-parent would both have the authority to make decisions on behalf of your kids.

Your child custody order has an impact on homeschooling

Suppose you and your ex share legal custody of your children, and your ex is opposed to homeschooling. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are not able to teach your children at home. Maybe your ex doesn’t want to teach the kids at home but will agree to let you do it. It’s a good idea to write out terms of agreement in your child custody plan.

If a child custody order states that you’re allowed to homeschool your children, your ex cannot force you to stop homeschooling, unless and until the family court judge overseeing your case were to modify the court order to remove those terms of agreement. Getting it all in writing from the start ensures that you’ll be able to carry out your plans after divorce.

Should you still get it in writing if you have sole legal custody?

If the court grants you sole legal custody of your children, you do not have to seek your ex’s approval when making decisions about your children’s health, faith or other important matters, such as education. Every state has its own homeschooling laws. It’s important to make sure that you carry out your homeschooling program in accordance with such laws.

If you have sole legal custody, and your ex is trying to make trouble to get you to stop homeschooling, just remember that the law is on your side. In such cases, it’s a good idea to know where to seek outside support to help you protect your parental rights.

Additional steps you can take to help avoid legal problems

If you plan to homeschool after a divorce, whether you share physical custody o have joint custody, you’ll want to keep detailed records regarding each child’s school work. You’ll also want to document things like extra-curricular activities, social clubs or community service that your children are involved in, in case your ex decides to stir up trouble in court.

It’s always best for children when co-parents are able to cooperate and work as a team regarding their education and well-being after a divorce. In reality, however, things don’t always run smoothly, in which case, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible to protect your parental rights, especially if you decide to homeschool.