According to this research, judges or attorneys teach court-ordered parenting classes for many reasons, depending on what the court deems fit. Some classes are a necessity, others a requirement, and some are highly recommended.
Most classes are about child custody and visitation, but they also can be about divorce and separation or feared domestic conflicts and neglect. These classes have a huge impact on solving most parenting issues and creating a more peaceful environment for children to thrive.
It is important to ask questions during class sessions to do well and gain the most benefit from them. Court-ordered parenting classes also have flexible schedules to fit parents’ needs and certificates upon completion.
How Long do Parenting Classes Last?
The problem with court-ordered parenting classes is that the parents rush through and only worry about completing them in order to please the courts. However, parenting classes, as spelled out in this study, are not about the number or length of class sessions but mainly about learning the practicality of what is taught.
Depending on the reason for taking a class, a class can take up to two months to complete, with one- to two-hour sessions per day. The completion time can be shortened if the duration of each class session is increased to four to six hours a day.
There is also a difference in duration between physical classes and online classes. Online options are often more convenient and private; hence, many people prefer them. They are a lot shorter since parents can choose to study full-time and so complete a class in less than a month.
Daily sessions range from two hours to as long as eight hours. The longer the session is, the shorter the completion time will be. Parents can choose from a variety of options and find what works for them.
Parenting Classes Schedules
The most common parenting schedules are as follows:
- Four-hour classes. Parents are allowed to log in any time within twenty-four hours at their own convenience and take lessons for up to four hours. The course lasts up to a month, and tests can be retaken if need be.
- Five- to eight-hour classes. Parents get access for up to eight hours a day from the comfort of home and can take parenting classes for up to a month. Tests and certifications are awarded.
- Nine- to twelve-hour lessons. This option allows parents to take classes for up to twelve hours a day on any day of the week around the clock, and parents are at liberty to ask for a time extension.
- Co-parenting classes. Take these classes with a co-parent to learn how to adjust to custody and visitation of children. These classes are for parents who are separating or divorcing. Parents can access the notes all day, every day for up to a month.
Upon completion, each person is awarded a certificate that can be stamped and signed for a small fee if need be. Perhaps the best part is that parents get to pick what works for them.
Schaffner, Laurie. “Families on Probation: Court-Ordered Parenting Skills Classes for Parents of Juvenile Offenders.” Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0011128797043004002
Hardesty, Jennifer L., and Grace H. Chung. “Intimate Partner Violence, Parental Divorce, and Child Custody: Directions for Intervention and Future Research.” Family Relations 55 (2006): 200–210. Retrieved from http://womensaidorkney.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Hardesty-journal.pdf