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Are Parenting Education Classes Required in Illinois?

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneysEvery state has different requirements for divorcing couples. Illinois is unique in that a court may require a divorcing couple to attend parenting education classes before finalizing their divorce. This recent legislation is designed to prioritize a child’s well-being as they transition into a divorced family. If you are going through a divorce and have children, you should assume that you will be required to attend these classes and prepare accordingly. Sometimes, parents go into separation with vastly different ideas of what is best for their child, so attend your sessions with an open mind and take the necessary compromises to protect your child’s future as much as you can.

Illinois Parenting Education Classes

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 924, the Parenting Education Requirement, states:

“Each circuit or county shall create or approve a parenting education program consisting of at least four hours covering the subjects of parenting time and allocation of parental responsibilities and their impact on children.”

If a court finds good cause to excuse a couple from attending these classes, the court may make an exception. However, in most situations, divorcing couples will have to attend and complete a court-approved parenting education program within 60 days. 

Illinois judges approve of parenting education programs on a circuit-by-circuit basis. Although the various classes offered throughout the state can differ slightly, they follow the same general format. For example, the Children First Program has a meeting size of 25-30 people, and spouses must attend different sessions. Experts have found that when spouses attend the same session, it halts their progress and is detrimental to the other attendees. Expect to pay a fee (usually about $60-$80) for your classes. Some of these programs offer internet sessions, but you must get approval from a judge before attending online-only courses.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

Divorce is typically not easy, most of all for children. Illinois divorce law gives courts the power to mandate that a couple attend parenting education classes, and you should assume that you will have to do so. If you have any questions about how to prepare for a divorce and settle on parenting rights and child support, make sure you work with a trustworthy Naperville, IL divorce attorney. At Pesce Law Group, P.C., we use our years of experience to help clients resolve family law matters quickly and fairly. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 630-352-2240.



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