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Parents seeking divorce may have to attend education course


Parents in Minnesota facing the end of their marriage may have many questions on their mind. They may wonder whether they will be able to negotiate a child custody arrangement of if they will have to litigate one. In fact, in either case, the court may require the parents to take a course about children and divorce first.


Since 1998, parents in Minnesota going through a divorce may be required by law to attend an educational program that provides them with information about how divorce affects children and families. The course also informs parents of ways to prevent conflicts in parenting time, as well as options for resolving disputes. Separate educational programs may be made available to children as well.

If child custody or visitation is contested, each parent must go through at least eight hours of an educational program that meets the Minnesota Supreme Court's standards. In all other court proceedings regarding parenting time or child support, the court has the discretion to order parents to attend such a program. If parents are considering a divorce or other type of child custody proceeding, they may choose to attend a program, without necessarily obtaining a court order to do so.

When parents are required to attend these programs, they must complete the program. If they fail to do so, they may face court-ordered sanctions. Therefore, if parents are unsure whether they have to attend such a program or if they have more questions about how these programs work, they can seek the advice of a family law attorney.

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