BEEN ASSIGNED A PARENTING SEMINAR? WE’LL HELP YOU GET THROUGH IT.
When there are minor children involved in a divorce, courts often order the divorcing spouses to attend parenting classes. In the state of Washington, nearly all divorcing couples with minor children are required to attend a mandatory parenting seminar before a dissolution of marriage will be granted. Parenting seminars are also often required in divorce modification and paternity cases.
Spending several hours in a class may not seem like the best activity for your weekend, but it is an important part of the divorce process.
Follow these four tips to make sure that your parenting seminar is as easy and painless as possible.
1) DON’T ATTEND WITH YOUR WIFE
Just to be clear, while both you and your soon to be ex-wife are required to attend a parenting seminar, you are not required to attend together. You each will attend your own seminar alone and at different times. It’s even written into state law that no couple can be compelled to attend together. If you think there is any chance you and your spouse might accidentally attend the same seminar, coordinate to make sure you both pick different days.
2) KNOW THE REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR COUNTY
Requirements for parenting seminars are set at the county level in Washington and may differ from county to county. Some counties allow online classes while others require the class be attended in person. The seminar must be conducted by an approved provider to meet court requirements. Before registering for any parenting seminar, make sure it is approved for the county where your divorce was filed. This is especially important before registering and paying for online seminars.
3) DON’T WAIT TO ATTEND!
Attending a parenting seminar is necessary to complete your divorce. Putting it off or waiting until the last minute will only result in delays for your divorce case. If you are required to attend the seminar in person, make sure to review the schedule of seminar dates. Some seminars may fill up quickly, so reserve a spot early. The sooner you have your seminar completion certificate, the sooner your divorce can continue.
4) AND REMEMBER: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY
While there are some specific circumstances under which the parenting seminar requirement can be waived, it’s important to remember that in most cases it will be mandatory. If the court has ordered you to attend, the judge isn’t going to accept any excuses for not doing so. If you do not complete the seminar, the judge can delay the progress of the case and withhold the final decree. Additionally, the court could also hold you in contempt or impose sanctions.
When parenting seminars are required in divorce cases, the best course of action is to complete them early and quickly and move on with the case. The seminars provide good educations that will assist you in parenting your children after a divorce. If you need more information about parenting seminars, please talk with a Washington divorce lawyer.