Alabama Proposes Mandated Divorce Classes

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Mar 05, 2014 | 0 Comments

It may be easy to stand from the outside and offer advice on how to resolve a marriage or handle complicated child custody issues. Unfortunately, when you are in a troubled marriage and entering divorce, the last thing you want is advice on how to take care of your family. Despite the very personal and private nature of divorce, members of the Alabama legislature believe that parenting classes may help couples with children who are divorcing.

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Parents in in Alabama who are considering divorce may be required to take mandatory classes. The bill would require couples who have children under the age of 16 to take a four-hour class that would address a child's needs during a divorce or separation proceeding. Our Birmingham divorce lawyersare committed to providing sound counsel and advocacy to individuals who are facing divorce. In addition to our proven record of results in handling divorce cases, we are also committed to staying abreast of the legal issues that may impact Alabama families.

The bill requiring mandated classes for divorcing parents has not yet passed, however the House Judiciary Committee has approved it unanimously. The aim is to force parents to pause and think about their children while in the divorce process. Supporters of the bill believe that children can often get stuck in the middle when parents are sorting through the details of personal finances, debts, and home mortgages, coupled with the sensitivity and high emotions that accompany the divorce process. The mandatory classes would require parents to take a moment to think about their children with professional guidance and assistance.

Any parent who is considering divorce is likely going to be worried about their children. How will the children react? Who will have full-time custody? Will your children have to relocate? How can you best protect your child's interests? According to advocates of the bill, the mandatory classes would force parents to consider their children's best interests when working towards a divorce settlement. The full Alabama House and Senate must approve of the bill before it becomes law. Currently, there are at least 9 other states, including Arkansas, Florida and West Virginia that require classes for parents.

According to a recent USA Today article, state instruction requiring parental classes vary by states. Alaska requires that parents watch a video in person. Some states only require classes if parents cannot agree on custody or parenting time. While parents in divorce may not necessarily appreciate the state intervention in the divorce proceeding, advocates believe that it will help give parents another perspective when working towards settlement agreements.

Child custody and parenting decisions will have a long-term impact on your rights and could affect the relationship with your children. When facing divorce, it is important to have a clear understanding of your obligations and to have experienced advocacy to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family. In addition to any state mandated counsel, every parent should consult with independent attorney advocate who can advise them of their rights and interests involving custody, support, and parenting time.

Contact Birmingham Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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