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Family Law Basics: mandatory parenting classes
Family Law Basics: mandatory parenting classes

Any parent who requests that the Court enter orders on parental responsibilities in Colorado is required to take a co-parenting class.  The purpose of the class is to “educate parents about the divorce process and its impact on adults and children and to teach co-parenting skills and strategies so that parents may continue to parent their children in a cooperative manner.”  Essentially, our legislature finds that when parents learn to co-parent, the trauma of a divorce or separation on children can be reduced.

Different counties rely on different parenting classes. There are classes in Spanish available, and every county offers online courses. Generally, the classes cost around $60, and require about four hours of time to complete.

The course discusses children’s emotional responses to divorce or separation, including information on their emotional development.  You’ll learn about how to communicate with your former partner regarding your children.  The class also goes over different parenting time schedules and important features of parenting plans.

For parents who are working with lawyers, the parenting class may have a lot of repetitive information.  However, discussing co-parenting with other people in the same boat can help with your perspective on what your children are experiencing.

In any case, you’ll need to take your parenting class before your final orders. It’s a good idea to take it before your Initial Status Conference.  That way, you can use what you’ve learned as you’re putting together your parenting plan.

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