Some you who are considering divorce and have children under the age of 18 may already know by now that you are required by the court to attend an approved parenting class seminar if you’re going through a divorce here in Memphis, TN.
But will you even be able to get a divorce if you don’t go to the class?
And have you ever wondered what happens if you don’t attend the class?
Well, here are the answers for you.
First the answer to question number one. Technically a judge or chancellor can not keep you from getting a divorce just because you haven’t attended the parenting seminar class. (Take a look at T.C.A. § 36-6-408(c) for this rule.)
But if you’re getting a divorce in Memphis you really need to highlight the term “technically”. That’s because pretty much every judge in Shelby County is going to make it a requirement that you attend the parenting class. And if you refuse to go to this class and let this be known to the court (judge) then you’re likely going to have a long battle on your hands showing the judge why you don’t have to attend the class. That just means paying more money to your divorce lawyer. And most Memphis divorce lawyers do not want to make the judges angry with them by fighting over something such as parenting class attendance.
Now the answer to question number two. You just learned that technically you don’t have to attend the class to get a divorce. But here’s the catch. A judge can (and will) order you attend the parenting class when he grants the final divorce decree. If you do not then attend the parenting class you will be held in contempt of court.
If you’re held in contempt of court you can be made to pay either heavy fines or jailed, or both. And this contempt of court can be ongoing until you eventually take the parenting class.
So, although you don’t have to attend the class to get your divorce, if you want to live life outside of a jail cell it’s highly advisable that you go ahead and attend.
As a Memphis divorce lawyer I highly advise you to go ahead and take the parenting class as soon as possible. The class will last four hours and is geared towards helping you learn more about what to look for in establishing your parenting plan with your soon to be ex-spouse. Because of this it’s best to take the class before you agree to the parenting plan, especially when your looking into an uncontested or irreconcilable differences divorce.Jami Ferrell is a divorce attorney in Memphis, Tennessee who focuses on helping women. If you would like more information you can contact him at James@MemphisDivorceFirm.com or by calling him at 901-754-1340.