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Massachusetts Divorce Mediation, Counseling and Parenting Classes
Massachusetts Divorce Mediation:
There is no provision for mandatory mediation in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Marriage Counseling:
The court may refer the spouses and children for marriage and family counseling when the couple is divorcing on the ground of irreconcilable differences. [Massachusetts General Laws Annotated; Chapter 208, 1A and Massachusetts Rules of the Court].
Massachusetts Parenting Class:
All divorcing parents with children under the age of 18 must take a parent education class.
Online parent education programs are generally NOT accepted in Massachusetts with the following exception: An alternative option to meet the parent education requirement may be utilized in situations where a waiver may other wise be ordered by the Court.
The court may waive the attendance requirement upon motion, with notice, for one or both parties. A Motion to Waive Attendance at a Parent Education Program must be presented by the party seeking a waiver. The reason the party is alleged to be unable to participate in a program in person must be included in the motion.
The use of a DVD program entitled KidCare for Co-Parents: An Educational Program for Divorcing Families is available at the same cost as all other programs when the court considers a waiver. This program provides a Certificate of Attendance that must be given the court.
The Court does not consider this DVD to be the optimal means of satisfying the Parent Education requirement, but it may be a reasonable alternative when a judge determines in-person attendance at a parent Education Program is not possible because of incarceration, extended hospitalization, extended military service, or residence outside of Massachusetts by one of the parties.
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