What if anything can I legally do to force my sons mom to take him to school or at least let him go to school more than 50% time

Asked 3 months ago - Hood River, OR

My sons mom has a drug problem and only gets him to school 50% of the time and 50% of those days she does take him he's late this is the second year in a row this has went on I've contacted childrens services the education board of directors the attendance supervisor everybody and anybody I thought could help yet nobody can do anything legally I filed for a modification of custody and in her response she claims there is no change needed the parenting schedule and custody works perfect for her in mediation she says it's everybody else's fault except hers and there is no problem at all obviously from the looks of his attendance summaries there is a problem at home or in her head one but no one can help because the truancy law says he has to have 8 unexcused absences in a four week period

Additional information

Not only does his mom not take him to school she has not taken him to see a doctor since he was 2 years old I have been the only one to take him to a doctor since 2009 and after talking to the school counselor he referred him to the center for living for counseling and during his intake appointment his mother called and told them they could not treat him because she had custody and was not authorizing them to treat him so now they said the only way they will treat him is if his mother brings him in for treatment

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Joanne Reisman

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . You just need to file for custody, as you have done, and include in your presentation to the court your son's school attendance records which you should be able to get from the school. It might also help to have someone from the school testify as to your son's school performance. If possible find friends and family members that will testify to mom's drug usage. The court doesn't care about the State's truancy law, they just care about your son being placed with a responsible parent that will parent well and see that getting to school regularly is part of that parenting plan. So if you prove that you will be the more responsible parent I don't think you will have a problem getting custody and possibly limiting mom's contact for visitation due to her drug problem. It is best to see an attorney and discuss all the factors in your case and how to present the evidence and witnesses that will help you demonstrate the situation. Definitely consult with an attorney even if you can't afford to hire them to handle the entire case.

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  2. Jay Bodzin

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You'd have to ask a court to award you custody of the child if you want to dictate his schooling. You can't "force" his mother to do anything. (Even if you ultimately lose a custody claim, you can still bring this issue to the attention of the court, and the judge will admonish the mother to be sure the child goes to school. If she continues to refuse to do so, then that could be a basis for modifying custody again.)

    I urge you to consult with an attorney in private for assistance in this matter. Nothing is ever guaranteed in life, but your chances of winning a custody case are much higher if you're represented.

    Please read the following notice:

    Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and... more

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