Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of homeschooling was frequently a topic of disagreement between parents. With many children engaged in remote learning, whether or not to homeschool a child has become a common issue.
Typically, parents are given a great deal of latitude when making educational decisions for their children. In the case of parents who are divorced or were never married but who share joint legal custody they must agree on key child-rearing decisions such as education, religious training, and non-emergency medical care.
In the context of education, a recent Appellate Court decision gave judges and parents guidance when one parent wants to homeschool a child and the other parents object. As explained in D.C. vs. V.C (https://www.njcourts.gov/attorneys/assets/opinions/appellate/unpublished/a2362-19.pdf?c=JxU ) the Court is to review the totality of the circumstances to make sure that the child being home schooled is being affrded a homeschooling program that provides “academic equivalence.” N.J.S.A. 18A:38-25; see also State v. Massa, 95 N.J. Super. 382, 390 (Law Div. 1967).
In this case, the Appellate Court would not simply rubber stamp the home schooling request as the trial court did not undertake the required analysis. This decision highlights the need to present the trial court with all of the relevant facts and circumstances so as to enable the necessary analysis. When hiring The Durst Firm, clients benefit from our twenty years of experience in making compelling arguments to judges throughout New Jersey.