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Should divorcing couples be required to take parenting classes?

Parenting after a divorce can be problematic. In fact, 17 states require couples who divorce to attend classes to help them with parenting their children when they divorce. In the states that have such programs, including a couple here in New England, the cost of these classes is generally split between the parents.

One Providence man wants Rhode Island to require such classes as well. The writer and editor has called on a state representative from that city to sponsor legislation that would study ways in which divorcing couples could be required to learn post-divorce parenting skills.

The man behind the call for legislation, who went through a divorce several years ago, contends that parental conflicts after divorce can lead to "depression, eating disorders, social withdrawal, poor attendance and self-abuse" in children and young people.

To those who oppose a state mandate of parenting classes for divorcing couples, the man pushing for the legislation asks, "Would you rather pay $100 now to learn some good parenting skills or would you rather pay for antidepressants for a host of problems later because you can't get along with your spouse?"

Even if parenting classes aren't mandated by the state, parents who divorce need to be aware of how their break-up impacts their children. Whether it's an amicable split or one filled with conflict and vitriol, parents need to find a way to co-parent their children in a way that focuses on their best interest. Your Rhode Island family law attorney can likely recommend a therapist or support group in your area to help with this.

Source: Providence Journal, "Providence man pushes for mandatory parenting class in divorce cases," Linda Borg, accessed May 10, 2017

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