[THIS is a letter I am sending to all divorce attorneys and family court judges in Sebastian and Crawford County. PLEASE NOTE the 2nd through 4th paragraphs. This is Very Important Stuff!]
…. “One point of confusion seems to come up occasionally: who exactly is Required by law to attend the parenting classes. Arkansas Code states:
A.C.A. § 9-12-322 (2017) Divorcing parents to attend parenting class.
(a) When the parties to a divorce action have minor children residing with one (1) or both parents, the court, prior to or after entering a decree of divorce, may require the parties to:
(1) Complete at least two (2) hours of classes concerning parenting issues faced by divorced parents; or
(2) Submit to mediation in regard to addressing parenting, custody, and visitation issues.
“So, each parent, regardless of *custody orders, *who filed for divorce, or *who intends to be primary caregiver of the children, is required to attend either the class or private mediation. Parents who attend these classes understand it is beneficial for both of the parents and all the children for both parents and any other adult family members to attend the classes.
“Our class plan still emphasizes parents not arguing in front of the children; cooperating regarding child support payments, shared responsibilities, and household rules that affect the children; teaching children to respect both parents; and helping children cope with the divorce.
“As of this Summer, we will have been teaching our Parenting Together class for divorcing parents for 13 years! That’s a lot of classes (over 230) and nearly 2,300 parents who have been shown how to guide their children through divorce.
Thank you for your part in directing these hurting, confused parents to our class where they can receive direction and a plan for their futures with their children. Your recommendations have helped greatly.
“I have included some brochures you may photocopy and hand out to your clients or interested parties. As always, you are welcome and encouraged to visit my classes at any time at no charge. Please let me know in advance, so I can have handouts and information packets for you.”
Certified Domestic Mediator