Parental Rights and Custody Cases

We have seen again and again home school parents in custody cases faced with judges who decide arbitrarily that the children should not be homeschooled. The most recent high profile case was in North Carolina, in which a judge ruled that the children must be placed in a public school, in spite of the fact that they were doing very well academically, evidently because of the religious beliefs of the mother. The basis upon which judges can to do this is called “in the best interest of the child.” HB 1611 is designed to reassert parental rights by requiring equal treatment of the parents, unless a parent is found to be unfit.

Too often judges allow their own biases to dictate what is “in the best interest of the child,” and this results in the kinds of unfair treatment that home school parents sometimes receive. This change would be a positive step forward. See more details on this issue.

Comments

  1. Tina Marie says

    Tim,

    Thank you for posting this information. I have wondered what would occur if I were faced with a breakup of my marriage as I am the homeschooling parent for my children and my husband solely earns the income for our family. I have heard of cases where the Mother, who has dedicated her life to schooling her children be asked to join the workforce to support her children as the child support awarded her was insufficient to pay her bills.
    I have also heard of cases where the homeschooling parent not be granted custodial custody bc she was not able to afford to raise the children.
    Both of these situations frightened me before I decided to homeschool my children but my faith is strong and I know how I am serving is in the highest good.

    Thank you for your newsletter and the THSC!

    Blessings, TM

  2. SR says

    I am a little confused about why the courts are determining “the best interest of the child” at all. In HB 1611 it says that the parents are to determine “the best interest of the child”. What allows present courts to determine that? Is there not a current definition for this? This Bill has not been passed yet- right?
    –SR

  3. timthsc says

    SR, the bill has not passed or had a hearing yet. It deals with custody cases involving divorce. Currently if there is a disagreement between parents the judge makes a decision based on what HE believes is in the best interest of the child. That language is very broad and basically allows the judge to do whatever he wants. The bill would take that authority away from a judge and require the parents to work it out.

  4. Anonymous says

    What if the parents can’t/won’t work it out? My husband’s ex wife refuses to communicate with him at all…it’s been 3+ years since she has had any form of communication with him other than through attorneys or her new husband. I am hopeful that more “father’friendly” legislation will follow.

    -Melissa D

  5. Anonymous says

    I lost custody in Williamson County due to a combination of factors: a Guardian Ad Litum who was out on bond for soliciting sex from a client & prostitution (appointed by Judge Suzanne Brooks of Williamson County) AND the fact that I wanted to continue homeschooling.

    I have a hearing on May 18th, pro se, and I'm still looking for some case law on this. As for those folks who say they want more "father friendly" laws, grow up! After a divorce, the fathers almost always have more money,and the single mother usually has to get a job (either full or part-time) and her standard of living plummets. The father can afford a better (and usually more corrupt) attorney (or a attorney Period). I have been blessed by an organization called Lonestar Fatherhood Initiative, which, contrary to its name, also serves women with legal advise & paperwork in family law matters.

    Sandra, Austin TX

  6. TxParents says

    Can someone tell me anything more about this bill? I found the bill itself, but no info on if it was presented, or still out. This would highly benefit my very different situation in which the judge took away the rights of both biological parents and gave it to a proven abusive step parent. It's
    scaring my family.

    Married biological parents are told who their child has to play with **rolls eyes**.

    Would appreciate any info on this bill. Thank you!!

    Read my story at: defineparentalrights.blogspot.com

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