Illinois law requires that all parents who are divorcing and never-married parents who are establishing a parenting plan complete a parent education course. Your divorce attorney in DuPage County can help make sure you fulfill these requirements as instructed by the court.
Because failure to complete the parent education course adequately can affect your parenting plan proceedings, it is important that you work with your experienced family law attorney in the Wheaton area to ensure that you have completed the proper steps.
What Is the Parent Education Program?
Illinois mandates that all parents seeking to co-parent following divorce or dissolution of the relationship complete a parent education program. Each county establishes its own parenting education course requirements though, and the courses available in one county may not satisfy the requirements in DuPage County.
The classes are available both as in-person seminars, and online courses - both four hours long. In some instances, the judge may mandate that parents attend the in-person class rather than the online option. Your family law attorney can explain whether you may choose which course setting you prefer, or whether you must attend the in-person class.
The central purpose of the parent education program is to:
- Help parents establish a businesslike relationship, so as not to allow personal conflicts to impact the parenting agreement;
- Give parents tools to avoid drawing their children into any conflict that arises;
- Help parents identify and focus on the best interests of their child or children; and
- Model healthy family environments in which parents set aside differences and relate to each other in a solution-oriented way.
Types of Parent Education Programs in DuPage County
There are a few different parent education programs available in DuPage County, depending on whether parents are divorcing or were never married to each other. The Caring, Coping, and Children Program and the Online Co-Parenting Course are both for divorcing parents, whereas the Parents &amp; Kids Program is for never-married parents.
There are also programs available for parents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each program is $50 to attend, and late arrival and no-show fees may be assessed.
Consult an Experienced Family Law Attorney in the Wheaton Area
Your family law attorney can speak with you about how best to prepare for the course and whether it is a good idea to attend the course with your child's other parent, or alone. If you do not feel comfortable attending the program at the same time as your spouse, your attorney may be able to coordinate different seminar dates with your spouse's or former partner's attorney.
Once your parenting plan is in place, it will be important to establish a workable co-parenting relationship with your child's other parent, and this may sometimes mean attending various events at the same time. However, if you have a protection order in place or your spouse has a history of domestic violence, it may not be appropriate to attend the parenting education program simultaneously. An experienced DuPage County family law attorney can advise you on the best course of action. Contact our office today to learn more.