How Long are Court-Ordered Parenting Classes?

7 mins read

Court-ordered parenting classes, also known as court-mandated parenting classes, are educational programs that individuals are required to attend as a result of a court order. These classes aim to provide parents with essential knowledge, skills, and resources to promote effective parenting and improve the well-being of their children.

The purpose of court-ordered parenting classes may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the goals of the court. However, common objectives include:

  1. Education: Parenting classes often focus on educating parents about child development, effective communication, discipline strategies, conflict resolution, and other relevant topics. The classes aim to enhance parents’ understanding of child-rearing techniques and promote positive parenting practices.
  2. Co-parenting: In cases involving separation, divorce, or custody disputes, parenting classes may emphasize the importance of co-parenting and cooperative parenting strategies. The classes may provide guidance on how to navigate co-parenting challenges, develop parenting plans, and foster a healthy co-parenting relationship for the benefit of the children.
  3. Conflict resolution: Parenting classes may address conflict resolution skills, teaching parents how to manage disputes, disagreements, or conflicts that may arise within the family. The goal is to promote peaceful resolutions and minimize the negative impact of conflicts on children.
  4. Child well-being: The primary focus of court-ordered parenting classes is often the well-being and best interests of the child. The classes may emphasize topics such as child safety, nurturing, emotional support, and meeting the child’s physical and emotional needs.

It’s important to note that the specific content and structure of court-ordered parenting classes can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case. Some classes may be conducted in-person, while others may be offered online or through self-paced modules. The duration and frequency of classes can also vary.

If you have been court-ordered to attend parenting classes, it is crucial to comply with the order and fulfill the requirements outlined by the court. Failure to complete the mandated classes may result in legal consequences or affect the outcome of your case.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

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

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