My ex and I have two children together (6 year old girl, almost 3 year old girl), and no others. Joint legal, joint physical.
My ex has our girls on Tuesday and Thursday nights, and every other Sunday.
Our 6-year-old started Kindergarten this year.
In the past roughly 8 weeks my ex has failed to take her to school 6 times and brought her in late 2 times. The school counts unexcused absences and tardies the same, so that's a total of 8.
One week was fall break so she's averaging just shy of one absence per week. She has never had a valid reason to be out, so all are unexcused. The last time was just the other day. I've gone to school to pick her up (before I started working there) and learned she had been out all day, that she was at the beach with Dad instead. Not a call to the school, no call to me...this same scene has repeated over and over. He sometimes notifies me, like the time before last when I got a text in the morning: "I kept (dd) we go aquarium."
I am a teacher at the school she attends. I just started teaching so I don't really know what happens in these cases, so I asked a few staff members. They said that although the school will probably send a letter home and schedule a meeting (at which they will say "you have to bring the child to school"), they won't take any legal action because she is only in Kindergarten. For grades 1 and above, they are tougher. They send out a social worker to try to figure out why the parent can't get the child to school, and after 10 (unexcused absences, tardies, or combination thereof) they can take the family to court. How hard they pursue this depends on the principal. New principal, so we don't know how she is regarding this yet.
However, I looked it up and the state law indicates that in any school year during which a child will be 6 as of New Year's, attendance is mandatory. So I'm wondering if the school maybe doesn't realize that it's not grade level but age that dictates attendance. If that is the case, perhaps I can politely point out the law and ask that they do everything in their power to ensure she attends school. Should I do that? I figure a social study would help pick up on whatever his issues are and hopefully strong arm him into taking her to school.
Here is a link to the "legal posture" of the State of HI regarding school attendance:
As an aside, our visitation agreement says that "parents shall ponder 50/50" but he has never pushed for any more than we had at the time of trial, which is 2 days a week, with a 3rd day added every other week.
I'm a little worried that if I take this to family court, his attorney will realize he is not taking advantage of his parenting time and blast him for it. The result will be he has them more, which would seem to mean she would miss more school.
This judge is widely known for making decisions that just leave everyone scratching their heads. So if my worries seem irrational, all I can say is, "You'd have to see it to believe it". The judge is known for strongly favoring the dads and is even under investigation for repeatedly violating the statute that prohibits granting custody to convicted abusers. We have only one family court judge.
If it weren't for the above, I would hope to be able to go to the judge, explain what is happening, and ask that either the judge mandates that my ex take our daughter to school or that he won't be able to have her during the school week. But given the above, what would you do?