What rights do I have as a non-custodial parent if the custodial parent is allowingour son to not got to school?

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What rights do I have as a non-custodial parent if the custodial parent is allowingour son to not got to school?

My 16 year-old son lives with his dad. He did not attend the last 2 months of his sophomore year because his dad is letting him take the GED this summer. I was not informed of this decision and his dad actually told my son to lie to me about going to school. What are my rights in this case? And who do I contact to help me? His father is very uncooperative to the point where he won’t answer the phone. My son has been in trouble for possession of pot and missed a lot of school over the years.

Asked on June 16, 2011 under Family Law, Oregon

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There are two types of custody; physical custody and legal custody.  The father has physical custody since your son lives with him.  Legal custody means making decisions about your son's education, health care, etc.  If you do not have legal custody or joint legal custody to make these decisions with the father, you can seek a modification of custody.

For a modification of legal custody, you will need to file an Order to Show Cause (OSC).  This is a form you can obtain from the court.  You will need to complete the form requesting a modification of legal custody in which you can either request sole legal custody or joint legal custody.  Sole legal custody means you would be making decisions about your son's education and other issues.  Again, joint legal custody means that you and the father would make these decisions together.  File your OSC with the court and an attached declaration signed under penalty of perjury setting forth the reasons why you are requesting a modification of custody.  Attach a proof of service to these documents.  When you file these documents with the court, the court will set a date for a hearing on the issue of modification of custody. 

The proof of service verifies the date of mailing to the other parent.  You can either write your own proof of service or you can use a court form proof of service.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you are over 18 and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless otherwise specified to ___________ (name and address of the other parent) on _______ (date).  You sign and date the proof of service under penalty of perjury at the bottom of the form.  The date you sign the proof of service should be the same as the date of mailing and the same date the documents are filed with the court.


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