Indiana divorce law establishes the procedure for terminating a marriage. When the spouses have children, the divorce process also includes considerations for child support, child custody, and parenting time matters. However, local court rules may impose another requirement: completion of an Indiana divorce parenting class.
By understanding how this course may fit in your divorce, you can make the most of the class and learn how to use it to mitigate passing the stress of this life change on to your children.
Why Courts Order You to Take an Indiana Divorce Parenting Class
Divorce is the second most stressful life event, eclipsed only by the death of a spouse. The changes it brings can include moving your residence, a change in your family makeup, and a decrease in your financial resources. Add to that emotional turmoil and you have a major life stressor. And when children are also dealing with these changes, the stress on the parents can ratchet even higher.
Indiana courts recognize this stress and the effect it can have on parent and child alike. To help parents deal with it, many Indiana courts require each spouse to complete an in-person or online divorce parenting class to help them learn how to deal with the trauma and co-parent in a way that does not add to the family’s stress.
This blog summarizes what might be covered in an Indiana divorce parenting class and how to make sure you’re taking the right course.
What to Expect from a Parenting Class for Divorce in Indiana
Many courts routinely order divorcing parents to complete an approved parenting class regardless of how amicable the spouses’ separation may be. These classes often teach parents what to watch for in their children’s behavior and how to address it. Specific topics may include any of the following:
- How the divorce may impact the children and their behavior;
- How to communicate effectively with your co-parent on child-related matters;
- How to identify each child’s developmental needs; and
- What pitfalls to watch for and how to avoid them during and after the divorce.
Parents who make the most of the course they take are better equipped to help their children cope with the changes caused by the divorce and to co-parent with their former spouse.
Finding an Approved Parenting Class for Divorce in Indiana
Parenting classes are not required by state law, but the court in each county establishes its own local rules, which may require divorcing parents to attend a particular parenting class. The county rule often specifies the particular course or courses that will satisfy the Indiana divorce parenting class requirement.
For many years, courts required in-person attendance of an approved class, but courts are increasingly allowing virtual attendance in some counties. You may find several different sources for online and in-person courses on parenting and divorce, but each county selects the course or courses that will satisfy the requirement. Examples include the following:
- Children Cope with Divorce (COPE course), which is presented by the Franciscan Visiting Nurse Program;
- Divorce and parenting courses offered by Neutral Ground Solutions; and
- Relevant courses offered by OnlineParentingPrograms.com.
Before enrolling, confirm with your court which courses are approved. Not all counties approve the same courses. And parents are responsible for paying course fees and completing all course requirements.
Your Carmel Fishers Divorce Lawyer Helps with Parenting Classes and More
Even when a divorce is amicable, the shakeup caused by separating, establishing new households, and creating new ways to be a parent and family can be difficult. An experienced Carmel Fishers divorce lawyer like Julie A. Camden at Camden & Meridew, P.C. can help. Whether you need help finding the right Indiana divorce parenting class or navigating the divorce process anywhere in Indiana, call Julie A. Camden. For more information about how she can help you, schedule a consultation by calling 317-770-0000 or by completing this contact form.