Do I Have to Take a Parenting Education Course for My Illinois Custody Case?
There is no denying that divorce is hard. Even the friendliest of divorces can have moments of tension and acrimony between the couple, never mind situations where the relationship is downright contentious. As difficult as it may be for a husband and wife who are ending their marriage, the impact of divorce on their children can be significant. The more difficult it is for a child to adjust to this major change in their lives, the more of a struggle they can have in other areas of their life, including school, with friends, and extracurricular activities.
This is why it is critical for divorced parents to put aside their differences and make a genuine effort to co-parent cohesively. It is also why Illinois requires all divorcing parents to participate in a certified parenting education program.
Parenting Education Programs
In Illinois, parents who are involved in any type of child custody case (referred to as the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time under Illinois law) are required to take a parenting education course, unless they can show a good reason not to. The purpose of these programs is to educate parents on communication skills and working together to co-parent post-divorce. Both parents are required to take the course – although they are not allowed to take the course together or with the child.
The course requirements and costs depend on the county the court hearing the custody case is located in:
- Kane County – Parents who live in Kane County are required to take the KiDs1st Program. Classes are offered both in-person and via Zoom. The program must be completed within four months of the initial filing of the child custody. The current cost of the program is $90.00.
- Cook County – Cook County offers two different programs for parents. The first program is Focus on the Children and is an in-person, four-hour program. The cost of the program is $50.00. The second option is the Child In Between program. This four-hour program is completely online. Once enrolled, participants have 30 days to complete the course. The cost of this program is $49.99.
- DuPage County – In DuPage County, programs are available both in-person and online. The course a parent takes depends on the status of their case. If the custody case is between two parents who are divorcing, they need to take the Co-Parenting Course. If the parents were never married, they need to take the Parents and Kids program.
Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney
If you are ending your marriage and need to work out a custody and parenting time plan, contact a St. Charles, IL child custody lawyer to find out what legal options may be available to you. Call Shaw Sanders, P.C. at 630-584-5550 to schedule a free and confidential schedule.