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Texas family faces child custody issues over homeschooling

Parents who opt to homeschool their children face a lot of scrutiny from some members of society. While homeschooling is legal in most areas, some parents soon discover that homeschooling their children seems to make them a target for child protective services investigations. For one Texas family, homeschooling their biological children, adopted children and children they were in the process of adopting led to the children being removed from their custody.

The situation began in Sept. 11, 2013, when the couple's 4-year-old autistic son wandered away from home. His 8-year-old sister stayed with him. The pair was found by a police officer who brought them home. When he got to the home, he was concerned about the number of children in the home. He was also concerned that the 4-year-old boy had soiled himself. He contacted Child Protective Services and an investigation followed.

The couple was required to take parenting classes and the mother had to have a psychological evaluation, according to a CPS worker.

An ex-parte hearing on Nov. 11 resulted in an order to remove the children from the home. The CPS worker, who wasn't present at the hearing, submitted an affidavit that the children were in immediate danger. The judge used that as the basis for the removal, which didn't occur until Nov. 21. The caseworker claims she merely wanted the judge to require the mother to submit to the psychological evaluation and that she didn't ask for the children to be removed.

A guardian ad litem was appointed for the children. During a visit to the couple's home, the guardian ad litem said that the only way she would recommend the children be returned was if the family agreed to put the kids in public schools. Homeschooling, according to Texas law, isn't relevant to CPS investigations.

On Jan. 7, a hearing was held in which the judge found no reason for the children to have been removed.

Child custody issues are difficult for any family to go through. If you are facing child custody problems, obtaining the help of a family law attorney can help you to understand your rights and responsibilities.

Source: Washington Times, "Texas Judge keeps family apart for two months over homeschooling" April Thompson, Jan. 09, 2014

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