Parenting Classes In Arizona Family Law
Could An Arizona Family Court Judge Require Me To Take Parenting Classes?
Parenting is a skill that you never stop learning. That’s why several organizations offer parental education courses. In some Arizona family cases, an Arizona Family Court judge may find it appropriate to require one or both parents to complete parenting classes. Additionally, these courses give parents valuable insight into how to be the best possible parent during a family law dispute. You won’t be learning how to swaddle a baby or change a diaper- these classes focus more on the social and emotional aspects of parenting. This will help you and your child have a healthier relationship moving forward, and focus on supporting your child through this emotionally turbulent time.
Topics Covered In Parent Education Classes
As mentioned above, you won’t be learning physical skills in parenting classes, but coping and conversational skills. Many of the things you will learn are specifically focused on getting through family law litigation.
Topics You Will Learn In Parental Education Courses Include:
- Alternatives to divorce, and resources to help with reconciliation
- Children’s typical responses to divorce, paternity matters, and other family law issues
- Information about mediation as an alternative method of dispute resolution
- The impact conflict, arguing, and domestic violence can have on a child’s development
- Parenting plans and the benefits they offer
- Your financial and emotional responsibilities for your child
- Skills related to communication and co-parenting
- Arizona’s family law court procedures
- Signs to look out for that your child is distressed
- Grandparent and relative visitation
When Do I Need To Take Parenting Classes In Arizona Family Law?
In some situations, parenting classes may be ordered at the judge’s discretion, while in others, they are mandatory. Any divorcing couple with at least one child under 18 years old must complete a parental education course. The same goes for a couple with a minor child going through a legal separation. The court will also order unmarried parents to attend parenting classes if required to make a ruling on parenting time, legal decision-making, or child support. That means that if the parents are able to come to a modification agreement on their own out of court, they won’t need to complete parenting classes, as the court wasn’t required to make a ruling on the matter. The judge may choose to order parenting classes if the parents later request a modification. The judge may also order parenting classes in paternity establishment matters. Parenting classes are also mandatory if parents wish to be reunited with a child who was removed from their home. Parents can always attend parent education classes of their own accord.
Tips For Attending Parental Education Courses
Whether you agree that you should have to attend parenting classes, it’ll be easier if you cooperate with the process.
Here are some tips to get the most out of your parenting classes, as well as for dealing with family law matters in general.
Never Blame Your Child For Issues Between You & Your Ex
This can be highly damaging to a child’s development and creates additional unnecessary stress. Better yet, you should actively tell your child that they aren’t to blame for the divorce or breakup. Providing emotional support will minimize the emotional impact it has on your child.
Pay Attention To Your Parenting Courses
As boring as they may seem, they are proven to work in that they reduce return trips to court. If you take the class seriously, you may actually learn something that you weren’t expecting.
Don’t Forget To Create Happy Moments During a Family Law Dispute
During a family law dispute, it can be easy to forget to simply enjoy your time as a family. You should still have good times and praise your child for accomplishments while you are going through a family law matter.
Shop Around For Arizona Parenting Courses
You may have the option between several parental education course providers. These providers can specialize in several areas like fathers, grandparents and other relatives, Spanish and other languages, and more. Price is another factor you may need to consider, but some jurisdictions offer courses free of charge. Note that some course providers do not allow parents to attend courses together.
Show Up On Time & Prepared For Your AZ Family Law/Parenting Courses
If your course isn’t being held online, show up early if possible. If you are late, you may not be allowed to sign in to class for attendance. You may be barred from bringing modifications and other motions until the course is completed. You could also be held in contempt of court or fined, among other penalties. Bring your photo i.d. and case number, but leave your kids at home.
Consider Counseling In Addition To- Not Instead Of- Parenting Classes
Some parents assume that they don’t need to complete parental education if they take their child to an individual therapist or family counseling. Counseling will actually be encouraged in your course, and may teach your concepts you haven’t previously learned.
After Completing The Parental Education Course
Once you have completed your parental education course, you should make sure that the course is notified of this. In some counties, some providers will automatically provide the court with your completion certificate. Otherwise, the course provider should give you a form that shows your attendance. It should include your name, the date(s) you attended, the contact information of your course instructor, and your case number. You should file this form with the Superior court clerk.
Contact Our Top-Rated Phoenix Family Attorneys
Parental education courses are just one of the several factors you will need to stay on top of while in a family law case. You may need to use them as a tool to show your fitness as a parent, should that ever come into question. To make sure that you fulfill all of your duties as a parent, as well as that your rights as a parent are protected, you should hire an experienced Phoenix family law attorney to represent you in the matter. High quality Arizona family law representation can be more affordable than you may think. To speak with one of our dedicated family lawyers, and to learn more about our budget-friendly payment options, call or use our online form to schedule your free consultation today.