If I home school my child, will that affect our Virginia child custody considerations?
The option to home school your children is a legal and popular education method in every state, including Virginia. It only becomes an issue in Virginia child custody arrangements when the parents disagree on whether they wish to educate their children in a home school scenario.
In Virginia child custody situations, if parents share custody of the children, they each have a say in the children's education. If you have sole legal custody, you can choose to home school without input from your ex.
If you share custody of your children (which is common), and your ex does not want them to be home schooled, Virginia child custody laws can require you to prove that a home school education is working for your children.
You can do this in several ways:
- Academically – Virginia child custody courts will want to see proof that the home school approach is working for your children academically. Standardized tests are a great way to prove this. If you do not administer standardized tests to your children, prepare a portfolio of their work that shows they are learning at, or above, their public school grade level equivalent.
- Socially – inadequate socialization is one of the main criticisms of the home school method. You can show that your children are socialized by demonstrating their participation in field trips or outings with other home school groups.
- Developmentally – Virginia child custody courts will also be interested in learning if your child is progressing on schedule in terms of developmental milestones. These milestones depend on the age and physical wellbeing of the child, but can include the ability for the children to dress themselves, complete household chores and get adequate exercise.
Ideally, you and your ex-husband will be able to come to an agreement about your children's education, but if that doesn't happen, you should be prepared to demonstrate that a home school education is working for your children.
Contacting a Virginia Child Custody Attorney
Our Virginia child custody attorneys care about your rights, the welfare and happiness of your children and your financial security. Let us use our unique experience and legal knowledge to help you focus on your goals for the future and your family. To learn more about Virginia divorce, request a FREE copy of our guide, What Every Virginia Woman Should Know About Divorce, or reserve your seat at our monthly divorce seminar – 757-425-5200.