Couples seeking a divorce in Illinois have much to consider when children are involved. In that situation, former spouses are required to take parenting classes.
Are parenting classes mandatory?
Divorcing spouses with children must take parenting classes in the state of Illinois. The parenting classes are mandatory regardless of whether the couple is going through a contested or uncontested divorce.
What are the criteria for parenting classes?
The State Supreme Court requires all divorcing couples with children to file to take parenting classes. The purpose of Illinois’ parenting classes is so that divorcing parents can create a parenting plan that will work for both of them and for their children. The parenting classes must be at least four hours and should cover aspects such as parenting time, visitation, child custody, and how parental responsibilities affect the children.
All parents who are going through a divorce are required to attend classes and successfully complete them. There are usually no exceptions unless the court excuses someone from taking parenting classes. The only way the court will excuse someone from attendance is if they provide documented proof of why it would be in the children’s best interests to excuse one or both parents. In some cases, a parent going through a divorce might be able to attend online classes. The court acknowledges that people have work commitments.
If anyone ordered to take parenting classes fails to attend or complete the classes within the set time frame, the court could issue sanctions against that person. Also, be sure that the class that you’re attending is authorized by the court; attending a class that is not recognized by the court does not fulfill the requirement.
Parenting classes can help everyone during a divorce. You, your former spouse, and especially your children benefit.