Parent Education Programs
- 1. In a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Motion to Modify a Decree, or any paternity cause, where there is at least one child under the age of seventeen, both parties to the dissolution or motion to modify shall attend a court-approved educational session to educate parents as to the possible detrimental effects of divorce on children and how to avoid these negative effects. In any other case involving custody, or visitation the court may, at the discretion of the judge, order one or both parties to attend a court-approved educational session.
- 2. The petitioner shall attend said program within forty-five (45) days of filing the petition or motion. The respondent shall attend said program within forty-five (45) days of the date of service of process or of receipt of the petition or motion if service is waived. If the petitioner fails to attend said program within forty-five (45) days of the date of filing, the court may dismiss the pending case. If the respondent fails to attend said program within forty-five (45) days from the date respondent was served, the court may strike the responsive pleadings. The court may impose any other appropriate sanctions provided by law.
- 3. No dissolution of marriage, legal separation or paternity action involving minor children shall proceed to final hearing until there has been compliance with this order. This requirement may be waived by the judge assigned to the case for good cause.
- 4. Parties residing outside the 25th Judicial Circuit may attend a parent education program offered in the circuit in which they live. If no program is offered within eighty (80) miles of a party’s residen ce, if a party is not a resident of the State of Missouri, or if a party has attended a Missouri approved parent education program within five (5) years, the attendance application may be waived upon application to the court.