By Anne Shale   |   October 10th, 2009

sem3.jpgIt has been six months since our first blog article appeared regarding the Montgomery County Domestic Relations Court’s “mandatory requirement” that both parents must attend a seminar intending to assist parents in understanding what each must do to help their children succeed after a divorce or dissolution. Several questions have arisen since the initial article was published, and I shall endeavor to address them.

Question #1: Divorce is proceeding in Montgomery County, Ohio, but Wife/Mother has relocated to the State of Florida.  What is she supposed to do about the requirement to attend a seminar in the State of Ohio?

Once again, I contacted Galen Curry, Manager of the Parent Education Department of the Domestic Relations Court of Montgomery County, Ohio, and he advised me of the following options:

  • Mother could arrange to take the course in Montgomery County, Ohio, before the final divorce hearing, immediately after the final divorce hearing, or within a few days of the final divorce hearing in the State of Ohio.
  • Mother could arrange to take the course in Montgomery County, Ohio, before the final divorce hearing, immediately after the final divorce hearing, or within a few days of the final divorce hearing in the State of Ohio.

Question #2: Could Mother meet the requirement of the Ohio Court by taking an “on-line” parenting class?

The Courts in and around Montgomery County are skeptical of “on-line” parenting courses for the reason that they can not verify anyone’s attendance or participation.  It would be very easy for a parent to enroll in an “on-line” parenting class, pay for same, be charged for same, etc.  And yet, how can anyone verify that the particular parent did indeed “listen” to the program being offered via the internet.

Practice Tip: For the parent who is now residing out-of-state, ask him/her to obtain a seminar or workshop itinerary for submission to the Parent Education Department of the relevant county in Ohio and obtain “pre-approval” before money or time is expended by the out-of-state parent.

Question #3: What do you do if you or your client is serving in the military and is stationed in the Middle East (combat area)?

Galen Curry advised that the Court would permit the divorce to proceed in this event; absent the attendance at the mandatory “Helping Children Succeed After Divorce” program.  However, the absent parent may be required to attend the seminar after returning to the United States and before the commencement of visitation. This language could be incorporated into the parties’ Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce.

Question #4: Are there any reasons that attendance at the “required” Seminar might be waived by the Court?

The frank answer is between “slim and none” as the Court believes the content in the seminar to be so essential to divorcing parents.  A very few reasons for the attendance not to be required:

  • The parents so involved in Domestic Violence Proceedings that there is no visitation in place between a parent and the minor children as Civil Protection Orders are in place.
  • The parent is so impaired mentally and/or physically as to not be able to attend the required Parenting After Divorce Seminar.

The Domestic Relations Courts of Montgomery County, Ohio, and other surrounding County Courts recognize the importance of the workshops/seminars in addressing how divorced parents can assist their child/children in coping with the aftermath of a divorce.  Attendance at the seminar continues to be “mandatory” or “required” absent an exceptional reason for attendance to be excused.

My original article describing this seminar was posted here on March 14, 2009. There is a lot of valuable information in it. Here is the link back to it.  If you wish to learn more about the “Helping Children Succeed After Divorce” seminar and the parent education offered by the Montgomery County Domestic Relations Court.

Also, if you haven’t read our recent commentary about “Nurturing Children After Divorce”, you might find it valuable. Click here to read it. Another interesting article on this subject was contributed to us by noted child psychiatrist, Dr. Frank. S. Williams, titled “Preventing a Parentectomy After Divorce”. Don’t miss it!  To read it, click here

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Anne ShaleAbout The Author: Anne Shale
Anne Shale is of counsel to Dayton, Ohio, law firm, Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues. She is a former registered nurse and concentrates her practice in Family Law and Divorce cases.

“Helping Children Succeed After Divorce”, Seminar Update

One thought on ““Helping Children Succeed After Divorce”, Seminar Update

  • Avatar
    March 9, 2010 at 10:32 am

    When me and my wife separated through divorce, we had no choice but to settle arrangements when it comes to co-parenting. We have 2 young kids and we don’t want them to suffer just because we needed to part ways. So me and my ex-wife are working hand in hand to take care of the kids. My wife also bought co-parenting planner/organizer from which really is of big help in this process. Hopefully we’ll get things flowing smoothly as planned. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

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