Missing school

How old is your son? Depending on the age of the child, it should be their responsibility to help make sure that they go to school and get their on time.
You could contact the school and ask them to send a letter to your X stating the importance of getting him to school or the necessity of a doctor’s excuse.
If your parents are watching your son because he is “sick” and he is not sick, with a fever, then they should take him to school. If your ex wants to fuss about it tell them to direct her to you. You can let her know that he’s missed too much school and it was your opinion that he was not sick enough to miss another day.
Keep in mind that there are some schools who can prosecute the parents for their child being truant from school…

He’s 5 years old. I don’t think he is ready for that responsibiligy. lol

The school has been sending her letters. Numerous ones’ from what the teacher has informed me. They warned her when she was getting close to their max and they have now sent her a letter informing her that he is over the limit.

I know about some schools prosecuting. In a way I wish that my sons school would help me in this matter. I have trouble getting my ex to see the importance of getting him to school. In her case it is more about her than it is about our son. I have offered to help as much as I can but she will not agree to him staying with me during the week so that I could see to him getting to school.

Yes I would agree with you that he’s a little too young for that also. [:)] And at that age, could probably care less if he goes to school or not. If he’s not sick and your ex asking your parents to watch him would put the responsibility on you and them. If they being parents themselves do not feel that he is sick and contagious contact you, give you this information and make the call to send him on to school. I would think being late is better than being absent.

As far as the school goes, it may be time to have a conference with the principal about this situation. Maybe there is something that he or the teacher can do that would ensure that your X take notice and realize how important this situation is. Maybe, since it’s early enough, the prospect of him not going on to the next grade would be able to be corrected if it’s addressed now. What did the letter say would happen now that he’s over the limit or what it just informing? Maybe she needs the incentive.
My husband repeatedly asked the children to turn off the computers and pick up their drink cans and other trash before they come upstairs but they never did. I heard him tell them this for months and even to the point of telling them, “This is the only thing I ask you guys to do”. He couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t do it and finally asked me about this. I told him that while he’s been very good about asking them he has yet to tell them what would happen if they didn’t do what he asked. So he told them that the next time he came downstairs and there was trash, drink cans, or the computers were left on, they wouldn’t be allowed to play the next day. That seemed to fix the issue and he’s only had to remind them a couple times since. My thinking is that if the school would suggest in written form to your ex that your son is NOT moving on to the next grade then that may prompt your ex to do something about it. Since it’s early enough, if he stays caught up on the work and doesn’t miss any more days, maybe they won’t have to actually go through with it, but it may be enough to “jolt” the ex into doing what’s right…just a thought.

I cannot be certain what the letters from the school said. That’s what sucks, it has to do with my son but no one tells me anything. The school just sends her information and rarely sends me anything. The teacher has been as helpful as she can, pointing me in the right directions, and sending me copies of his progress reports.

The thing about my ex, is that she tends to get wrapped up in her own stuff. She just found out that she is pregnant again and I am worried about what this will do to my situation. She has a hard time right now taking care of our son and all she seems to want from me is more money and for me to have him when it is convient for her. I try to help out but she will only allow me to help when it is on her terms. She wants to have all of the control.

I am thinking about attempting to get custody of my son. I think with her having another child on the way that my son will slowly not be the priority. If he lived with me and my girlfriend, his school and well being would always be the top priority. I just don’t see any court letting me having custody of my son. I have tried to get the system to help me and I have seen it screw my best friend out of having his children.

I don’t want my son to suffer becuase of my ex. She is not putting our son in immediate danger but I think he would have a more well rounded life with me.

With this situation with the school, this may be a good opportunity to at least modify custody so that it’s jointly with equal time. This may be the time to get a recorder on your phone and start keeping records. Talk with your ex about whether she would be willing to agree to modify custody for your son’s sake and see what she says. But make sure you get that recorded.

The thing about custody is that we share custody. I have my son from Friday at 6pm until Monday morning 7:30am. Technically I have him for 156 days out of the year, 3 out of 7 days of the week. The problem is that the time that I have him, I am only responisble for getting him to school on one day, Monday, but I always make sure he gets there on that day.

Then maybe custody could be modified that your 3 days are during the week or split up. Or you and the ex could switch off weeks, where you have your son during the week one week and the next week on the weekend as you do now…
This is a difficult situation but you need to be aware that if your X won’t agree to modify custody and it results in a court battle then everything about your life and your girlfriend’s life can be put on trial…so to speak. Even though this is for your son’s best interest the courts will want you to prove beyond doubt that you it would be better for your son that you and the ex switch custody. I know that most ex’s want their children more overnights due to the amount of child support and I’m sure that this is no different with your ex. If you increase the amount of overnights you have your son then child support could also be modified so that she gets less money from you. My ex offered to continue the same amount in child support even though he wanted to get his son more. She jumped at that. If you believe that this is a money issue, offer to keep child support the same for the time being and see if that makes a difference. Make sure you record all this though…and don’t make an offer that you won’t agree to. If you tell her you’ll pay the same amount for 6 months if she will agree to switch up custody then for 6 months you pay the same. After 6 months, renegotiate with her.
You have the power now, especially with sharing custody, to negotiate for what you think is best for your child. If this has to go to court, it’s out of your hands. The lawyer’s will get paid and the judge will order what’s best…think about it and try other avenues before resorting to court…

Dear 143:

Go to the school and consult with the teachers. Discuss the problem with your ex. Write her a letter. Put in the letter that you expect doctor visits from now on with excused absences when the child is sick. Offer to have the child live with you during the school week. If that does not work - go to court and ask for custody. You must do what is best for your child. Good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

My ex has been keeping my son out of school for “sick” days. The school that he goes to has a strict policy and children are not allowed to miss more than 10 days, if they do they will then be considered as to if they should move up to the next grade or not.

Today my ex calls me to ask if my parents could watch our son because she said he was sick and she had to go to work. (I think she just woke up late and did not have time to take him to school and make it to work on time.) My parents call me because my son does not show any signs of being sick, he is up and playing around and not complaining about anything. He has a small cough and that is all. My parent’s wanted to take him to school but I didn’t know if they should or not.

My question is how long will it take before the school steps in and tries to do something? My son is always at school on Mondays becuase that is when I take him to school. But on the days she is supposed to take him it seems to be getting harder for her to get him there. She moved out of the school district, so the bus cannot even help her out. She has to get up in time to take him herself and she has to have someone to pick him up.

He is at least up to 14 missed days. The teacher has already hinted around the fact that my son is exceptionally smart and is keeping up with the work right now, however, in the future she does not know if he will be able to keep up.

Is there anything I can do? Is the shcool required to do anything at any point? What should I do?