Yes, yes you do. It may come as a surprise to many, but in the State of Illinois, all legal parents going through a divorce or a legal matter involving parental rights and parenting time must take a class. Aptly named “Focus on Children,” this 4 hour class, which can be taken in increments if completed online, helps explain court proceedings, the legal process, and ways in which children can be affected by it. The class is offered in both English and Spanish.

The parenting class educates parents on what it means for a child going through the process, which can often be confusing and overwhelming. In most cases, parents can take the online version of the class, which is called “Children in Between.” Other litigants may be required to take the class in person, in cases of emergency intervention or domestic violence, for example. If the parties are going to be mediating their case, the class must be completed before mediation.

The fee is $50.00 and a Fee Waiver can be obtained for indigent persons. Many families are surprised to learn this is a requirement, even in uncontested matters. However, it’s important to know how the legal process can affect children, even when both parents have the best of intentions.

For more information, contact one of our attorneys at Law Offices of J. Jeltes, who can help walk you through what can be a difficult and overwhelming process.