The impact of a divorce on one’s family is undeniable, but it can feel even greater for families with young children. A divorce can overturn everything they know and bring a complex mix of emotions with it as well.
It is common for parents to worry about their children during their divorce. At some point, many parents wonder how they will move forward in their roles. After all, life post-divorce will be new for parents and children alike.
This is one of the reasons why the trend of divorce education is increasing across the United States.
What is the purpose of divorce education?
Divorce education is the broad term for programs or classes directed to parents – and in some cases, children – to guide them through the divorce as well as prepare them for life after divorce. These programs offer courses to help parents:
- Understand the emotional and psychological impact that divorce can have on children
- Obtain skills to help children handle these impacts and adjust to the changes divorce will bring
- Respond to and fulfill the child’s needs and best interests
- Acquire effective co-parenting skills
- Learn and use healthy strategies to handle parental conflict
According to the University of Minnesota, the trend of divorce education began in the 1980s to help parents gain knowledge to protect and support their families after divorce. The main goal of these programs is to help reduce the chances of conflict among families and therefore reduce future legal issues.
Is divorce education required in Kentucky?
Several states require parents to attend parent education or classes if they get a divorce – even if the divorce is amicable and uncontested. Kentucky may not have a statewide law requiring divorce education, but that does not mean parents are off the hook.
Generally, it depends on where families live and where they file their divorce. For example:
- More than half of the judicial circuits in Kentucky do require parents to participate in forms of divorce education.
- In counties where it is not a requirement, family law judges might still order parents to attend divorce education courses in certain cases.
Even if divorce education is not a requirement divorcing parents must fulfill, they must ensure they carefully consider their future parenting strategies as well as how they will uphold and prioritize their child’s best interests.