Do pre-divorce classes have any impact on parents?

Many states have realized that, in some cases, divorces are going to be inevitable. There are laws around the country that make certain requests of people who are splitting up, such as abiding by a waiting period or seeking counseling. The effect of these is debatable, since both parties in a divorce are adults and should be able to understand the impact of their decisions.

When a marriage has produced children, however, it might be useful for parents to get some ad hoc education about how their split could affect their kids. Missouri is one of at least 19 states that mandate classes for parents. These requirements vary among states; some only require parents to watch a video, while others only require parents who can’t agree on custody issues and parenting time to attend.

In Alabama, a bill is under consideration that would require parents who have kids under age 16 to attend a four-hour class, which they must pay for. The aim of the class is to help parents to empathize with what their children will be going through if and when the parents do split permanently.

The classes might have a positive impact on fathers who are resigned merely to having visitation rights, rather than custody. Depending on the circumstances, divorcing dads might decide to push harder to have custody of their kids, at least on a shared basis.

Fathers in Missouri who are going through a divorce want to make sure they know their rights under the law when it comes to being part of their children’s lives. These dads deserve to be part of their kids’ upbringing.

Source: USA Today, “Ala. looks at mandating divorce classes for parents,” Kala Kachmar, Feb. 25, 2014

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