Do I have to take a parenting class?

The Texas Family Code has a provision related to taking a Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course. While the provision does not require the taking of one of these courses, some family law courts do require the completion of one of these courses.

These courses can be ordered in a cases affecting the parent-child relationship, including divorce, an action to modify an order in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship providing for possession of or access to a child.

The parties to the suit may not be required to attend the course together. In fact, the court may prohibit the parties from taking the course together if there is a history of family violence.

If a parent refuses to complete the parenting class, a court may take appropriate action, including holding the party in contempt of court, striking pleadings, or invoking any sanction provided by Rule 215 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. It does not delay the court from rendering a judgment in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship.

What does a Texas court-ordered parenting class cover?

These courses ordered are typically four hours long but can be as long as 12 hours in length and usually cost less than $100. They are designed to educate parents to the consequences of divorce or custody battles on children. Texas Family Code Section 105.009 says the course must cover following issues:

  1. the emotional effects of divorce on parents;
  2. the emotional and behavioral reactions to divorce by young children and adolescents;
  3. parenting issues relating to the concerns and needs of children at different development stages;
  4. stress indicators in young children and adolescents;
  5. conflict management;
  6. family stabilization through development of a coparenting relationship;
  7. the financial responsibilities of parenting;
  8. family violence, spousal abuse, and child abuse and neglect; and
  9. the availability of community services and resources.

Bottom Line

If you are facing a divorce and have children, it is important to follow all of the laws that are implicated. Attorney Vince Handler will help you each step of the way so you can avoid the many pitfalls. Contact us today.

More Topics

Parenting Plan
Child Custody
Child Visitation