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Illinois Court Ordered Parenting Classes Explained | Illinois Divorce and Parent Education

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Article written by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
November 1, 2019

The purpose of this article is to explain Illinois court ordered
parenting classes and answer some of the most frequently asked questions
regarding parent education. 

When Are
Parenting Classes required In Illinois?

​According
to Illinois law, parenting classes are required
whenever parents of minor children are engaged in a court proceeding involving
allocation of parenting time and responsibility, formerly referred to as
custody and visitation.  This includes post-judgment cases involving modification
of parenting time and responsibility or relocation of the child. 

Are There
Any Exceptions To The Parent Education Requirement?

If
a parent can demonstrate good cause that he or she should be excused from court
ordered parenting classes, the judge may excuse that parent from completing the
course.  The court must find that excusing the parent from completing the
parenting class is in the best interest of the child and must document the
court’s reasoning in the court record. 

Why is it Important to Take Parenting Classes?

The
stated purpose of court ordered parenting classes, according to the DuPage County and Cook County courts is as follows:

  • To train parents to promote healthy communication with each other and with their children, with the intent of creating a business-like relationship between the parents.
  • teach parents to set aside their differences to provide a stable environment for their children and focus on their children’s best interests
  • To provide
    parents with skills and techniques to keep their children out of any conflicts.
  • To reduce the
    likelihood of expensive litigation between the parents. 

Which
Parent Education Programs Are Approved By The Court?

You
must take a court-approved parent education program in order to get credit for
meeting your requirement.  Many programs falsely claim to be court
approved.  Therefore, it is important to go to the website of the court
that has jurisdiction over your case in order to find a list of the approved
programs.  You can find a list of the court approved parenting
programs for DuPage County
here: https://www.dupageco.org/Community_Services/Family_Center/1616

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Illinois Court Ordered Parenting Classes Explained | Illinois Divorce and Parent Education

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