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Parenting class to be mandatory for divorcing RI parents?

Realizing that you are to be a divorced parent can sometimes feel overwhelming. Many parents wonder how well they and their spouse will parent their child from separate households. 17 U.S. states currently require that divorcing parents take a parenting class during the divorce process. One Rhode Island man is pushing for such a law to take hold in our state.  This is not a new idea.  Years ago, divorcing parties were required to view a video at the court house before they could put through their divorce.  

The current proposition is still in the early stages, but essentially, it would require parents going through a divorce to take a parenting class. These parenting classes may be required by the state, but paid for out-of-pocket by the parents. The classes aim at educating parents about parental alienation and other negative behaviors that divorcing spouses sometimes exhibit that can negatively affect their child. It would also talk about child support and other matters that often court-ordered in support of the best interests of the children.

While many parents are aware of how certain negative parental behaviors can affect their child, they may learn something else that is helpful for them to parent their child from separate homes. Good communication between parents is ideal for the child to adjust to their new home environments. Even the smallest detail learned in a parenting class could have a huge positive impact for the child that otherwise would have been overlooked. Divorce can be very traumatizing for a child, or it can be fairly smooth transition, it's all in how parents approach the process.

It goes without saying that parents filing for divorce may not see eye-to-eye. However, it is best to put that aside when it comes to shared children. Focusing on the best interests of the child can really help to put communication between divorcing spouses into perspective. Raising children isn't easy, whether parents live together or separately.

Source:, "Providence man pushes for mandatory parenting class in divorce cases," Linda Borg, February 10, 2017

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