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Child custody, divorce and the Tennessee Parenting Education

The University of Tennessee Extension Office offers parenting education seminars in 65 counties across the state. These seminars are one class or a succession of classes that provide parents the information needed to deal with each other and their children during the divorce process and after a divorce is finalized.

The objective of these parenting education seminars is to help a divorcing couple with a family cope with the traumas inherent to the divorce process without creating a stressful environment for the children involved.

The minimum requirement set forth by state legislation which requires the seminars is to educate parents about how to protect, nurture and enhance their child's emotional development. The seminars also inform parents about the legal process and include discussions concerning the judicial process, alternative dispute resolution and marriage counseling. Child custody issues may also be discussed.

Visitation arrangement ideas may be explored in these seminars. Further, common attitudes of perpetrators of domestic violence and what behaviors amount to domestic violence are also discussed in the seminars. The classes also cover additional topics related to separation, divorce and the emotional effect physical separation can have on adult family members and the effect adult problems can cause on a child's emotional well-being and development.

The Parenting Plan Law requires that parents attend at least four hours of these seminars, but the courts may order more time. If a parent does not attend the seminar, the parent can be held in contempt of court. According to how much time has been specified by the court, the seminars can be held in one session or more sessions.

Upon request and providing proof that a parent is incapable of paying for the required seminars, the court may waive the costs. Depending on the circumstances, one parent or both parents can attend the seminar. However, minor children are never required to attend.

Source: TNCourts.gov, "Parenting Education Seminar," Accessed on Nov. 3, 2014

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The Law Office of Steven C. Girsky
503 Madison St.
Clarksville, TN 37040

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