Divorce and Truancy
Unfortunately, divorce can create a lot of stress not only for the divorcing couple but also for their children. Divorce creates many significant changes in the life of a young child or an adolescent. Not all children will have negative reactions to their parents’ divorce, but many will have trouble adjusting, and parents should be prepared to help them deal with the changes in their lives. Even previously well-adjusted children may act out or have emotional difficulties. The good news is that most children are able to adapt to their parents’ divorce without experiencing major problems. In fact, within two to three years after a divorce, most children are back to normal.
Many factors affect how an individual child will react to a divorce, including how emotionally resilient the children are in general, how much conflict there was in their parents’ marriage before the divorce and the quality of the relationship between parents and children both before and after the divorce.
Some of the children who do have more problems adjusting to the divorce may act out by breaking the law or by skipping school. Truancy is both a response to stress and a risk factor itself that can lead to additional harmful behaviors, such as substance abuse. A child who responds to divorce or other stressful life events by cutting school could be starting off on a downward path. Therefore, it’s important to prevent children from becoming truants or, if they have already started skipping school, to bring them back into the school-attending fold.
Ohio Lawmakers Introduce Bill
Ohio lawmakers have recognized the importance of preventing and reversing truancy and are now taking concrete steps to confront the problem. To that end, Ohio state legislators have introduced a bill designed to decrease truancy. The bill, if it passes, will use a variety of methods to get kids back on a constructive path.
One problem the bill addresses is the lack of uniformity in the way the state’s school districts report truancy. Ohio has 613 different public school districts, and they all have their own way of keeping records and deciding when to contact parents or involve the courts. By making truancy policy and record-keeping uniform throughout Ohio, the proposed bill would provide better data about the problem to lawmakers. With better information, lawmakers can provide better solutions.
The bill would also help prevent long-term truancy by encouraging both parents and school officials to nip the problem in the bud. Early intervention can help prevent a child who skips school from becoming a habitual truant. The more times that students skip school, the more that they fall behind in their school work. This sets off an unfortunate cycle. The further behind students fall, the less they want to be in school, and the more often they cut school in order to stay away. Stopping this downward spiral early is a key part of preventing truancy.
The supporters of the bill believe that juvenile court should be a last resort. They are optimistic about the ability of parents and schools to change the behavior of even long-term truants.
Ohio Family Lawyers
Helping to divorce parents make legal arrangements that are in the best interests of their children is an important part of what we do here at Laubacher & Co. We know how much parents want to see their children thrive, and we use our extensive experience in Ohio family law to create the best possible outcomes for our clients and their children. If you need quality legal representation, please contact us for a free consultation to see if we are a good fit for you.