Wyatt Hardy, PLC

Criminal, Family and Probate Law

Wyatt Hardy, PLC

Criminal, Family and Probate Law


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Parenting classes may be required for divorcing couples

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2024 | Family Law

Divorce can be a stressful process, affecting not just the parents but also the children. It brings about change, which can be either positive or negative. Studies show that the change is often harmful for children growing up in two households.

To combat these adverse effects, the state of Arkansas may order parenting classes for couples going through a divorce.

Goal of the program

Under state law, a judge may order divorcing parents to attend parenting classes if minor children are living with either or both parents. These classes aim to tackle parenting issues, custody disputes and visitation matters that often arise in the context of divorce. Parents must complete at least two hours of these classes. By the end of the session, they should understand the impacts of divorce on children and learn strategies to help their children manage these effects.

The law doesn’t specify how to choose a parenting class or program. Usually, a list of court-approved providers is available for parents to choose from. Alternatively, parents have the option to propose a program, which would then need court approval.

Regardless of who selects the class or program, the financial responsibility falls squarely on each parent.

When a judge might order this

The decision to order parenting classes is at the judge’s discretion and is typically based on the case’s specifics. Factors such as the level of conflict between the parents, the needs of the child, and other relevant considerations may influence this decision. The primary goal of court-ordered classes is to ensure the welfare of the child or children involved in the divorce. So, courts base whether to order these classes on the unique circumstances of each family.

Facing challenges after divorce

While divorce can be challenging for everyone involved, Arkansas state seeks to lessen this burden, particularly on the children. By teaching parents essential coping strategies and communication techniques, they are better prepared to raise their children during and after divorce.