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Homeschooling and Issues Regarding Shared Parental Responsibility in Florida

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Homeschooling & Shared Parental Responsibility Issues in Florida

Every year, more Floridians choose home education as opposed to public education. In fact, more than 75,000 students in Florida are currently home-schooled. As a result, Florida has earned a reputation as one of the friendliest places for homeschooled students. Of course, the decision to homeschool a child goes considered much more than pedagogy; it extends to the consideration of lifestyle changes for that parents and child alike due to the amount of time the two parties will spend together. While this can be a productive educational and developmental structure, Florida’s idea of “shared parental responsibility” can become shaky in the event that a homeschooled child’s parents file for divorce.

Issues of Shared Parental Responsibility

According to Florida Statute §61.13, “shared parental responsibility” is defined as a “court-ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child and in which both parents confer with each other so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined jointly.” Unfortunately, these ideals place homeschooling in jeopardy when parents divorce. How so? Here is an example:

John and Sue homeschool their child, Ben. Sue acts as the primary instructor. However, John and Sue decide to file for divorce. The two agree that Sue will continue to homeschool Ben. After a short period, John voices his concern that Ben may be developing a better relationship with his mother instead of a balanced relationship with both parents. Now, John and Sue must decide whether Ben’s educational structure should change and, if the two become more concerned, whether or not this may affect custody.

Unfortunately, is such situations, when parents reach a deadlock, the end result is often the loss of home education.

In this type of case, a parent may attempt to request sole parental custody so that the child can continue his or her home education. Due to Florida state laws, however, achieving sole parental responsibility can be difficult as the family law court will make the decision based on the “best interests of the child,” which may be up for interpretation. For this reason, parents in these types of situations should seek help from an experienced divorce attorney. A seasoned family lawyer can help the parent prove why he or she is more fit to primarily care for the child and his or her education.

Facing Issues Following Divorce? Call Owenby Law, P.A.

If you are moving through the divorce process or are contemplating divorce and share children, we urge you to get in touch with our Jacksonville family lawyers right away. We can examine the details of your situation and help you build a case to protect the rights and futures of you and your children. When you choose to work with our legal team, we will make you our first and most important priority,

To speak with a member of our team, contact Owenby Law, P.A. right away!