Do I Have to Attend Parenting Education Classes in a Divorce?

parenting class

If you have just started your research about what to expect in your Illinois divorce and child custody case, you might have come across the term “parenting education classes”. Under Illinois law, all parents of minor children who are involved in visitation or custody actions are required to complete a parenting education program. Your location will have specific court-approved options for completion.

The goal of the classes is to help parents understand some of the challenges that will likely come up when parents live in different households. Children can struggle to adjust to new circumstances, and navigating the waters of two separate households and separate parents can be difficult for all family members.

As a secondary goal, it’s hoped that the parenting education classes clear up some areas of confusion between parents and lay the groundwork for interaction post-decree so that further legal conflicts are minimized.

Some classes are offered online and the costs of the programs vary by location. Only in rare circumstances will the judge waive a parent’s requirement to attend parenting education. This is usually done in situations where the judge finds it in the best interests of the child for one or both parents to skip parenting education.

The court also retains the right to order one or both parties to attend additional parenting education classes if the judge determines it necessary for your case.

Most of the classes are only a few hours long, but they are mandatory to complete. You may find that the course is helpful in giving you some ideas for helping children adjust to their new lifestyle with as little emotionally difficulty as possible.

Learning about what to expect in the divorce process is helpful for reducing anxiety and clarifying your rights and responsibilities. To learn more about the specifics of parenting education programs in your area, contact an Illinois family lawyer today.

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