Thursday, August 27, 2015

Why Am I Required to Take a Parenting Class to Get a Divorce?

Everyone going through a divorce in Rutherford County, Tennessee is mandated to take a court-approved parenting class if you have minor children at the time of your divorce. According to www.tn.gov, “This class or series of classes gives parents the information necessary to deal with their children and with each other during and after the divorce process. These seminars are meant to help the divorcing family through the traumas of divorce without putting more stress on the parties and their children.” The class includes topics related to children and family such as counseling; an overview of the Court, mediation, child support, and parenting plan process; suggested ways to help children of various ages cope with divorce; and grief and loss stages that everyone involved may experience through the process. In Rutherford and Cannon Counties, the class is a one-time session of four hours. This class must be completed within sixty (60) days of your divorce being finalized, BUT the sooner you can take the class, the better off everyone will be (and maybe even save you money in the long run.)

There are two known places to attend class in Rutherford County, and one agency offers a reduced rate class in Brentwood, TN. The Family Center offers TransParenting, a nationally recognized program that is conducted by Master’s level mental health professionals. The fee for TransParenting is $45 in the Murfreesboro location, or the reduced rate location in Brentwood is $25. Several dates are available throughout the month, but classes there fill up quickly, so you must register and pay well in advance. Divorcing or separating parents must attend separate seminars, regardless of how congenial your case may be. They accept cash, money orders, and credit cards, but no checks. You may register and pay at www.familycentertn.org/sign-up or by calling (615) 890-4673. The office is located at 115 Heritage Park Drive, Murfreesboro, TN 37129. If you want to attend the reduced- rate class, know that spaces are limited to those with demonstrated financial need. You must contact Julia Todd at (615) 324-7526 or jtodd@bumc.net to register and pay. This class is held at Brentwood United Methodist Church, 309 Franklin Road, Brentwood, TN 37027.

The next provider in Murfreesboro is Lifebridge, and registration can be completed at www.lifebridgetn.com/register/events. They offer one or two classes per month in the Murfreesboro area, and locations vary. Space is limited to eight participants and registration is $50. For all locations, please do not bring your children, as no childcare is provided. You may bring drinks and snacks- there are no vending machines, but you will be given breaks throughout the course. Please bring your docket number in case that is needed for your certificate of completion. You will notice that classes are offered all over the mid-state area, with many in Davidson County, if that location is more convenient. Even if your divorce is in Rutherford/ Cannon, you are allowed to take the course outside of county, so long as it’s a court-approved course.