Dillingham, AK asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska

Q: My kids were homeschooled by both parents in our separate homes this year. I can't make this accommodation next year.

Our divorce began as COVID 19 started. My ex. and I pulled the kids from in person learning as the schools COVID rates were sorted out. Fast forward to now, we have 1 case every few weeks in our small rural Alaskan village and the school has implemented an effective mitigation plan keeping kids in in person learning. My ex. does not work and is already not wanting to enroll the kids next year. My job is reigning in at home work and I will not be able to homeschool next year. Is there a legal way to enroll the kids in In person learning if the other parent wants to homeschool?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Phyllis Shepherd
Phyllis Shepherd
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Anchorage, AK
  • Licensed in Alaska

A: I will assume that you do not have a court order granting either parent sole legal custody. Assuming both of you are equally good parents, courts prefer that equally good parents cooperate for the best interests of the children. Pediatricians and other health care professionals recognize the importance of children attending in person education and recognize the importance of the children getting good social skills when interacting with their peers. You should try to persuade your ex with good educational reasons for allowing the children to benefit from in person schooling. The children's pediatrician might be a good resource person to assist you. If you cannot persuade, then you may need to file a motion to modify custody and /or visitation with the court so that one of you can be recognized as having sole legal custody for educational purposes. I would caution you to not act unilaterally by enrolling the children by yourself. If your court order does not specifically provide you with the power to act alone, then you need to modify that court order.

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