Under Iowa law, parents must complete a court-approved educational course when getting a divorce. The courts believe such participation educates parents and helps them become sensitive to the needs of children in their post-divorce lives.
On occasion, a family court may waive mandatory participation in an education program. However, you should know that committing to divorce and parenting education offers families many advantages.
Benefits for parents
You know much about raising your kids in a two-parent household, but everything changes after divorce. Parenting classes allow you and your ex an opportunity to improve your co-parenting skills while helping your children adjust to their new normal. Your participation can help you learn:
- Positive communication skills
- How to achieve healthy co-parenting
- Anger management and conflict resolution
- How to be sensitive to the impact divorce has on kids
- Responsive approaches to childhood mental health and overall wellbeing
You will also learn how to improve cooperation with your co-parent—a skill that can improve child custody exchanges and other interactions.
Benefits for children
The things you and your ex learn through parenting education offer many advantages to your kids. When you know how to manage your stress and negative emotions, your children will likely feel more secure in their lives.
Practicing your new parenting skills may ensure that your children are less apt to feel caught between you and your co-parent. Well-planned classes can also equip you with the skills to aid your kids in coping with their post-divorce emotions.
We recommend increasing your knowledge of child custody laws in Iowa to prepare for the possibility of court-ordered parenting and divorce education.