What are Mandatory Divorce Classes?

Request a Consultation

by Debra Schoenberg

Going through the divorce can be a grueling process for both parents and their children, who at times can be caught in the middle.  It can be hard to maintain a positive attitude for the benefit of the kids, but attending parent education classes can help parents learn how to cope with the conflict, stress, and emotions that come with a divorce, as well as learning how to co-parent.

Currently, seventeen states require all divorcing parents to attend some form of parent education class that will teach them general parenting skills and help them develop and maintain positive relationships with their children. A parent education program is a course that can be followed to correct and improve a person’s parenting skills. Such courses may be general, covering the most common issues parents may encounter, or specific, for infants, toddlers, children, and teenagers.

During mandatory divorce classes, parents will learn about:

  • How to co-parent.
  • Children’s needs as the divorce process starts.
  • The positive and negative consequences of divorce.
  • Ways to deal with conflict without involving children.

Parents will also learn how children of different ages express their pain and loss and the best parenting methods for helping them cope during and after the divorce. Some of the topics discussed are:

  • Grieving stages common to divorce.
  • How children experience divorce.
  • Long-term adjustments.
  • What to expect from a child based on the child’s developmental age.
  • Helpful ways to communicate with a child about the divorce.

Courts understand that not all parents may have the time to attend these classes in person, which is why some states offer online classes. This gives parents the opportunity to work at a time and place that may be convenient for them, as well as allowing them to finish the course at a faster pace. It’s important to remember that no matter how you decide to take these classes, taking them is mandatory, and there can be consequences if you do not attend.

Depending on where you live, if you were ordered by the court to attend and you decide to not go, it could hold up the entire divorce process. In case of unfortunate events, you may be able to get out of attending the class, but only the court will be able to decide that.

The divorce process can be difficult for you and any children involved, but the good news is that there are resources offered to help you. According to Life Matters, recent studies show that children of divorce don’t necessarily have to live an unhappy and dysfunctional life. If you find yourself in this situation and you are trying to be the best parent you can be through your divorce, the parent education classes will help you and your ex-spouse learn how to cooperate in raising the children.

Our Awards and Memberships

Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., recognizes that family law matters involve complex, sensitive issues that can have a lasting impact on you, your family, your finances and your future.

More About Honors & Awards
Arrow Image
10.0 Avvo Superb Top Attorney Family Law, Divorce
Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal
American Jurist Institute Top 10 Attorneys 2017
2022 Client Satisfaction American Institute of Family Law Attorneys 10 Best
100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies In the Bay Area San Francisco Business Times
10 Best Female Attorneys 2017 American Institute of Family Law Attorneys
San Francisco Bay Area's Best and Brightest Companies to Work For Winner 2021
2018 Best Lawyers Best Law Firms U.S. News & World Report
California Board of Legal Specialization (CBLS) State Bar of California
2020 Client Champion Debra R. Schoenberg
San Francisco Business Times Corporate Philanthropy Awards 2019
Expertise Best Divorce Lawyers in Concord 2020
2018 Expertise Best Divorce Lawyers in San Francisco
Fast 100
Lead Counsel Rated
Litigation Counsel of America (LCA) Fellow
National Board of Trial Advocacy
2017 Parents' Press Best of The Bay
San Francisco Business Times
Rated By Super Lawyers Debra R. Schoenberg
The Business of Pride
2021 Best Businesses Three Best Rated
San Francisco Business Times Corporate Philanthropy Awards & Summit
American Jurist Institute Top 10 Attorneys of 2018
Arrow Image