There seems to be a number of websites that automatically assume that because the husband cheated, that the wife should have the right to any remuneration that would allow her to continue homeschooling. I don't agree with this at all. First, we don't know if there were other issues in the marriage. Second, having an affair does not mean that the husband should be treated only like a bank account. Third, since no custody arrangements had been made, both parents still have a right to offer ideas about raising the children (with disagreements being settled by the court--if they could agree it would not have been an issue with the judge), even if the husband cheated. The father's views should not be negated immediately nor should the mother's views be definitively upheld. That two of the kids were testing above grade level is wonderful, but, as homeschoolers know, grade-level learning is only part of homeschooling and may not weight heavily against other issues like cost (whether we like it or not).
Original post 1/13/09 below:
They aren't new, but they are new to me. Volokh Conspiracy blogger Orin Kerr notes two cases where homeschooling is used to help decide custody cases. In one case, the judge specifically states that the State should not assume that either method of schooling is preferable. The other case has been appealed because the judge entered a preference for public school in the official record while deciding the case:
- According to the record, the “lynch pin” of the trial court’s decision to send the minor child to a public school was MCL 722.23(j), which considers the “willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent ....”
The record amply supports the trial court’s conclusion that the two parents simply “do not communicate,” and that the mother’s desire to homeschool the child would result in the father being precluded from having any “say or involvement in his child’s education.”
- In the course of rendering this decision, the trial court made the following observations:
- Public schools would offer the child a “wider exposure” than she would receive with homeschooling.
- Public schools would offer “much more diversity, many more opportunities with respect to the things that she would be able to do.”
- Although the court “appreciate[d] and respect[ed] [the mother’s] desire to have a religious-based schooling, we live in a very diverse society and it is not beneficial for children to be raised in a bubble where they do not have exposure to other people’s cultures and other people’s religion.”
- Public schooling would make the child “a more well-rounded person.”
The judge in the case quoted is obviously biased against homeschooling, having so many old-saw stereotypes in his opinion, and that is a shame. He should certainly have been presented with good information about homeschooling, and required to weigh it appropriately, prior to making a judgment.