Whether you have one child or several, chances are, you’ve encountered challenges in your family life journey. Parenting can be rewarding and enjoyable, yet frustrating and difficult at the same time. If you decide to file for a divorce in a Washington court, you no doubt understand that your decision is going to affect your children’s lives.

You and your spouse must work out a child custody agreement. Every state has its own guidelines regarding marital property and child-related issues in divorce. In this state, you’re required to do several things in order to legally finalize your divorce, one of which is to attend a parenting class.

What is the purpose of attending the class?

In all matters of custody, visitation, child support, etc., in a divorce, the court has children’s best interests in mind. The state has recognized that a restructuring of family life causes disruption and has an emotional impact on children. The parenting class you’re required to take discusses the effects divorce or separation can have on kids and provides you with information and resources to help them cope.

Rest easy, you don’t have to go to class with your ex

When you choose to divorce your spouse, you no longer have to live as a married couple, which means you do not have to attend the required parenting class together. You do, however, have to attend a class that has been approved in your specific county.

Both parents must attend class before the court will issue a divorce decree

It’s important to remember that attending a county-approved parenting seminar is a requirement for lawful divorce in Washington State for those who have children. Children who witness their parents being willing to work together for their sake may be better able to come to terms with the changes divorce causes in their lives.

In some counties, a judge will still finalize a divorce if a parent refuses to attend the required parenting seminar but will subsequently not allow that parent to petition the court thereafter regarding the parenting plan. It’s critical that you know what your county’s rules are and also that you know where to seek support if a legal problem arises.