My question involves a child custody case from the State of Georgia
My daughter is 8 years old and in the 3rd grade. My ex-wife and I have joint legal custody and she has primary physical custody. We were divorced when my daughter was 3 years old. When my daughter finished pre school instead of the excellent public school available in the school district my ex wife chose instead an unaccredited private school; a decision that I disagreed with. The Settlement Agreement made her the final decision maker as she is the primary custodian but my daughter's kindergarten education was so inferior that when she started 1st grade the following year ( in public school ), she did not meet state standards for entering 1st graders. I worked with the school to keep her in 1st grade ( so she would stay with her age group ) and she effectively had to repeat kindergarten. I also worked with the school to get her tested and after those tests revealed some learning disabilities, an IEP plan was developed for her ( all of this happened in the first grade ).
I also hired ( and paid for ) a tutor for my daughter. This was in addition to my child support but I didn't mind because we're talking about my daughters education here. 2nd grade my daughter made incredible progress as was noted at the yearly IEP meeting.
For this year ( third grade ) my ex-wife decided not to retain a tutor. It's kinda weird but a provision of our Agreement kicked in and I had to pay child support directly to her( as opposed to paying) it directly to the school, babysitter, etc. She gave a sob story about how she could not afford it. The entire support system I had established around my learning disabled daughter she also dismantled. As would be expected my daughter's progress has collapsed. She's made nothing but F's and D's this year ( except Art and PE ) and her Iowa test of Basic Achievement has put her in the *BOTTOM* 2% of the *NATION* in Reading, Writing, *AND* Arithmetic. I had to double check the numbers they were so incredibly bad. My ex-wife is doing nothing about it ( she doesn't speak English very well; she's not from this country; doesn't understand the US educational system and is unable to help my daughter with homework) and it has been left to me to work with the school to try to salvage my daughter's education. My ex doesn't even comprehend that there is even a problem. She sends me emails ranting about making sure my daughter is dressed in the fanciest clothes for school when I keep her overnight ( I get one overnight during the school week ). In the meantime I'm attending the parent teacher conferences, sending emails to the teachers, and with my one night a week, trying to work with my daughter to learn her multiplication tables. She's smart and inquisitive. She just doesn't have any kind of support system anymore.
3rd grade is a non-progression year and I'm afraid my daughter will fail another grade which will make two in the first 4 years of her education. For African American children this type of academic achievement ( or lack thereof ) is correlated with just about every negative socio economic pathology you can think of later in life for African Americans . I know I have a "material change in circumstances". I've read the case law extensively. But how do I convince the court that she should be placed in my home? I exercise my visitation, take my daughter to the doctor and to the dentist, provide health insurance, pay child support, take her on trips back home in another state to see my family and her cousins, and visit her at school on my off days ( we eat lunch together in the school cafeteria; the kids love it; I'm somewhat of a rock star ). Is that enough to get me over the finish line? Please advise.