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Video Transcribed: Can the decision to homeschool your children impact your child custody case in Oklahoma? Hi, this is Tulsa attorney Justin Mosteller with the grandparents.attorney and I’m going to spend a few minutes today talking with you about this issue.
The decision about where your children should go to school is an intensely personal one obviously, and your first step should definitely be to speak with your spouse, or ex spouse, about where he or she thinks your children should go to school.
In the event that you’re in the middle of a custody dispute, either a new divorce or paternity case or a modification of an existing order, the issue of education is likely to come up. And if you were in the position where you believe that your child, or children, will be served best by attending homeschool and you’re going to need to marshal evidence to make that case to the court.
Now, Oklahoma has a very light hand on regulating homeschooling in state. Generally speaking, the only requirement is that children from age five to 18 receive classroom instruction for at least 180 days every school year. And that’s really it.
They suggest that you follow guidelines from public schools and that your education be comparable or equal to what is being provided in public and private schools.
And there’s a lot of resources out there for parents who are looking at homeschooling, a lot of things on the internet that you can look up, and generally speaking if you follow an accredited curriculum, you’ll be okay.
However, the question in all custody cases is best interests. And the question that needs to be answered for the court, if you’re trying to move a child from public or private school into homeschool, is whether or not that decision is in the best interest of the child.
That can be demonstrated in any number of ways, but specifically I found that judges in Oklahoma are going to be a little skeptical about homeschooling. If the child has been traditionally attending a private or public school, typically speaking, the best case is going to be for that child to continue to be wherever he or she is.
However, if you can show that there is some deficiency in the education that that child is getting, that could be a first step. And if you are determined to get your child into homeschool, then the first step that you should take, in addition to looking at curriculum, you should educate yourself extensively among best practices and what resources are available in your local community for homeschooling, what your plan for socializing the children will be. You need to have an answer to all of those questions before you ever go into court.
An Oklahoma attorney can be an absolute essential element in this plan. And if you’re looking at homeschooling your children and you are in the middle of a child custody case, feel free to give our office a call. We’re happy to represent you. We can be reached at (918) 932-2800. Thanks.