Many custody orders in New York have different schedules for the summer and the school year. A new school year means you are busier and have additional responsibilities, including making sure your child attends school and getting them to any sports or extracurricular activities.
You should be able to trust that your co-parent will bring your child to school each day on time when they have custody. However, the reality is that this is not always the case.
Finding out your child has been missing school when they are with your co-parent can be extremely frustrating, and you may feel the situation is out of your control.
Compulsory education laws
New York has compulsory education laws, which require that all children between age 6 and 16 attend school full-time. The specific policies and procedures of this law are left to the local school districts to decide.
If you discover your child has been missing school while with the other parent, research your local school district policies and request your child’s attendance records. Be aware of what constitutes an excused or unexcused absence, the discipline process for unexcused absences and what steps can be taken to prevent your child from being considered truant.
Address the reason for the absences
Try speaking with your co-parent about the issue to find out the reason behind the absences. Perhaps they have a new work schedule that doesn’t allow them to get your child to school on time, or they weren’t aware your child was skipping.
Sometimes parental neglect is the cause for the absences. You always have the option to modify your custody order with the help of a custody attorney.
Your modification petition can request that you have primary custody during the school year, citing evidence of the other parent’s neglect when it comes to your child’s education.
The penalties for truancy are serious. You can receive a fine or your child could be sent to juvenile court. It is best to address attendance issues as soon as they occur.