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Parent Education Programs for Divorce in Minnesota
In all divorce proceedings in Minnesota where there are contested issues of custody and/or parenting time, the parties are required to participate in a "parent education program." Additionally, in some counties within Minnesota, so long as the children are over the age of 7, the minor children may also be required to participate in their own child education programs which are designed for children whose parents are going through a divorce proceeding. This education requirement also exists for the unmarried parents of minor children when the parents are involved in a contested paternity or custody proceeding.
There are many different providers who offer these divorce education or parent education programs. You can either contact Court Administration for your particular county to ask for more information, or you may be able to find information about the various programs on the Court’s website. Depending upon the size of the county, and the resources available, there are often multiple classes offered which may address different types of divorce or parenting issues. In general, the goal of the parent education programs is to advise the parents that it is in their children’s best interests for the parents to cooperate and communicate and make decisions jointly which will benefit the children. If the parties are going through a divorce, there may also be education programs available, which may offer information regarding the financial aspects of the divorce, including child support, valuation and division of assets, and spousal maintenance.
Once you have completed the parent education program, you receive a "Certificate of Completion", which you can file with the Court to confirm that you have complied with the education program requirement. If you are a party to a divorce proceeding, or a custody/parenting time proceeding, and you have been able to reach a full agreement with the other parent regarding the issues of custody and parenting time, it is sometimes within the Court’s discretion to waive the parent education program requirement. However, if the Court is not waiving the education requirement, it is possible that your divorce decree and/or custody decree may not be entered by the Court until both parents have complied with the education requirement.
A Minnesota court can award alimony to either spouse. Support is appropriate if a spouse isn't capable of self-support due to a lack of property, suitable employment or has custody of a child and cannot work outside the home.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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