Divorce FAQ – Parenting Classes

21 September 2011 Categories: All Blogs, Family Law and Divorce

Under Tennessee Law, parties to a divorce involving minor children must take a parenting class. The statute below sets out the law in detail. The class must be 4 hours in length. There are many court approved classes around the middle Tennessee area. A court cannot prevent a divorce from being finalized because a party has not taken the class, but one could be subject to contempt of court or loss of child visitation if the class is not taken. The class requirement can also be waived in limited circumstances.

At McNulty & Associates, we encourage our clients with minor children to take the classes early, as they provide good information on the visitation process within the divorce case and how to help prepare the minor children for the process.

36-6-408. Parent educational seminar.

(a) In an action where a permanent parenting plan is or will be entered, each parent shall attend a parent educational seminar as soon as possible after the filing of the complaint. The seminar shall educate parents concerning how to protect and enhance the child’s emotional development and informing the parents regarding the legal process. The seminar shall also include a discussion of alternative dispute resolution, marriage counseling, the judicial process, and common perpetrator attitudes and conduct involving domestic violence. The program may be divided into sessions, which in the aggregate shall not be less than four (4) hours in duration. The seminar shall be educational in nature and not designed for individual therapy. The minor children shall be excluded from attending these sessions. The requirement of attendance at such a seminar may be waived upon motion by either party and the agreement of the court upon the showing of good cause for such relief.

(b) The fees or costs of the educational sessions under this section, which shall be reasonable, shall be borne by the parties and may be assessed by the court as it deems equitable. Such fees may be waived for indigent persons.

(c) No court shall deny the granting of a divorce from the bonds of matrimony for failure of a party or both parties to attend the educational session.

Comments are closed.