Mandatory Divorce Parenting Courses Withstand Challenge in Connecticut

Connecticut, like Florida, has a mandatory parenting course for divorcing parents.

A Connecticut resident challenged the requirement as an unconstitutional infringement on the fundamental right of parenting one’s children as one sees fit.

The challenger also attacked the requirement as unreasonable, because it is required equally of good parents and bad parents alike. Further, it applies even where it is arguably irrelevant, such as in the case where the child is an infant oblivious to the divorce.

The course in Connecticut, as in Florida, is not on parenting in general but rather on parenting through the transition of separation. For example, the course teaches conflict resolution techniques.

A Connecticut trial court concluded that the state has a compelling interest in facilitating smooth separation transitions. It ruled that the course is not intrusive – because no parent is bound to follow the “advice” offered in the course. A parent is merely required to pay the attendance fee and “sit through” the course.

Although hardly a resounding endorsement of the course’s value, the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling and upheld the parenting course requirement.

For what it is worth, the mandatory divorce parenting course in Florida is shorter and less costly.

Read more in this Hartford [CT] Courant article: Conn. court: Mandatory parenting courses allowable.