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Whether required for family law court, parenting classes may help

Professionals often state that the children whose parents divorce tend to have more problems for at least five years after the dissolution. Now, many family law courts are requiring parents to take classes in order to learn methods for effective parenting. Currently, California parents are required to take these classes only if stipulated by their particular judge.

One state that requires these classes for many divorcing parents claim that it has been a significant help to the families involved. Each class begins with an overview of how a divorce can impact a child's life. Once the parents are informed of the possible consequences a family dissolution can have on the child's behavior and emotional well-being, the classes then go into teaching parents how to communicate clearly without requiring their child to be the conduit for messages.

Another facet that the classes help parents to understand is the benefit of having a clear vision of how they want their child to be raised and the mutual goals they share as parents. One analogy that the facilitators use to illustrate the importance of having a plan is how partners must work well together in order to run a small business. If partners cannot communicate clearly or lack a common goal, then the business is unlikely to thrive. By using this model, parents purportedly are more inclined to put personal feelings aside and work together to ensure that children are able to successful navigate this period in their lives.

Of the parents who are asked to evaluate their experiences after taking these classes, more than 95 percent reported a favorable outcome. While the majority of parents who take these classes are required to so in order to proceed with a divorce, these Oklahoma classes are open to all parents who desire to improve their communication and parenting skills. California parents who need information on these types of classes or related family law matters may choose to seek the guidance of a family law professional.

Source:, "Extension course teaches parents to cooperate in divorce", James Neal, May 3, 2017

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