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Educational neglect can become a child custody matter

29809032_S.jpgSeeing to the needs of their children maintains a top spot on the priority list of Missouri parents. Aside from the obvious needs of food, clothing and shelter, parents are also tasked with looking after the emotional and educational needs of their children. When it comes to child custody, the ability of a parent to ensure that their children receive a proper education can be called into question. 

It is not uncommon for parents who maintain separate households to have a child custody order put into place. During the school year, one parent is often designated as the custodial parent, with whom the children primarily live. The other parent may have a schedule with set visitation times during the week, on weekends, or breaks from school. 

Recently, one Missouri mother found herself facing charges of educational neglect after the local school district alerted law enforcement to the fact that her children had been absent approximately 50 percent of the school year. When a child misses that much school, schools are required to alert local authorities that handle child abuse concerns. Social services became involved, placing the family in a supervised probation program while the missed school time was investigated. 

The mother assured investigators that her children attended school when they were able, but a string of serious misfortunes had befallen their family that year, rendering them unable to attend on many days. She said that illness and loss of family members had taken a toll, and a frightening incident involving her ex-husband had caused the children anxiety so severe they were physically sick and had to miss school. The woman stated that while she was aware attendance was important, she did not feel comfortable forcing her children to attend while they were ill or suffering from anxiety. 

If a parent that has physical custody of the children feels they are in need of resources to make sure their children are not victims of educational neglect, or a noncustodial parent has reason to be concerned that their children are missing far too much school, they may be unsure of what action to take. Often, it can be beneficial to seek the aid of an attorney that is experienced in handling child custody proceedings. An attorney may be able to help a parent see to it that the client's children receive the best care possible, and do not suffer from neglect or abuse. 

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