What to Know About Court-Ordered Parenting Classes in New York

by | Oct 25, 2022 | Child Custody NY

In some child custody cases, parents are ordered to take mandatory educational courses by a judge. Many parents are concerned when this happens and are unsure of what steps to take next. Here’s what you should know about court-ordered parenting classes in New York and how a veteran New York family lawyer can help.

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What Are Parenting Classes?

Parenting classes are also called parenting education programs and are developed to provide new and established parents the skills and tools needed to successfully provide their children with a stable environment, safety, appropriate discipline, and love.

When Are Parenting Classes Ordered By the Court?

A judge may decide to require one or both parents of a child to attend an educational program at its discretion. Usually, this occurs when parents lose custody due to drug or alcohol abuse, child neglect, and other serious issues that warrant removing the child from the home for their safety. In most cases, the courses must be successfully completed and shown to the court for parents to be given custody or visitation rights.

What Do Parenting Classes Include?

Every parenting class is different and there are many to choose from in New York. However, they generally cover the same core topics that are important for all parents to know. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • How to communicate safely and effectively with your child
  • What constitutes a stable environment
  • How to identify their child’s best interests and work toward them
  • How to manage conflict and arguments in the home without violence
  • Proper nutrition for children based upon age and weight
  • When to seek medical care for a child who is ill or injured
  • Mental health conditions commonly occurring in children and how to manage them
  • How to talk to children about divorce or separation

Essentially, parenting classes are designed to help parents who may not have been taught how to take care of a child or provide them with adequate nutrition and emotional support. They can teach parents how to navigate divorcing with children and how to be an effective single parent. These classes often bring a lot of value to the table even when they are required by law.

How to Choose a Parenting Class to Satisfy a Court Order

You can choose to attend an in-person parenting class or you can take one online. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there are more court-accepted parenting courses available online than ever before and it’s relatively easy to find one that is affordable and practical to attend.

To make sure the course you’re interested in will be approved by the court overseeing your case, you can check with the program administrator or send the information to a court clerk who can let you know if a certificate from your selected class will be sufficient.

When you enroll in a parenting education program, it’s critical that you make note of when classes are and what you need to do to pass the course. If you are late or don’t show up or log in, this could be used to penalize you and prevent you from regaining custody or visitation of your child.

If you fail the course, you may be unable to get your child back or even see them until you take the course again and pass it. Depending on the judge’s orders, there may even be a mandatory waiting period before you can enroll again or before the court will review a certificate from a different class.

When to Enlist the Help of a Qualified New York Divorce Attorney

If your children have been removed from your home and you have been ordered to take parenting classes to regain your child custody or visitation rights, it’s important that you have a veteran legal representative on your side who can guide you through the process.

Your lawyer can help you find a satisfactory parenting course, make sure you complete the class successfully, and submit the appropriate paperwork to the court for consideration. At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., we will advocate for the full restoration of your rights and the best interests of your family.

Contact us today to learn more about court-ordered parenting classes on Long Island or to book a consultation with an experienced family attorney. Call now by dialing 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form on this page.  


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