If you are getting a divorce or engaging in a child custody action in West Virginia, you may be told you have to attend a parent education class. There are many different types of parenting classes, but the parent education class a court may order you to take as part of a child custody hearing is unique, according to the West Virginia Legislature.

This type of class is offered through an outside agency that is approved by the court to provide the program. The content of the program is made specifically for parents in your situation. The intention is to help you understand what your child is going through during the process. You will learn how divorce or relationship issues and custody disputes affect a child. You will also learn how to minimize the affects and help make the process easier on your child.

The court may order you to go at any time. Typically, it will order the class if it feels there is a lot of issues in the case and between you and the other parent. If the court does order you to go, you must attend. If you fail to abide by the order, you could face legal penalties. You also must pay for the class whatever amount the court orders.

Do note the court may order other parties to attend classes, too, if they feel it will benefit the child. Generally, this is limited to people directly involved in the case and with you or the other parent and your child. This information is for education. It is not legal advice.