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Standing Order 2-16: New Requirements to Register for Parent Education Program

Argument - Yes and NoAll parents getting divorced in Massachusetts must complete the Parent Education Program in order to finalize a divorce, unless that requirement is waived by a “demonstrable showing of:  chronic and severe violence which negates safe parental communication; language barriers; institutionalization or other unavailability of a party; or where justice otherwise indicates.”

The Parent Education Program fee is $80.00, although that may be reduced to $5.00 if an Affidavit of Indigency and Request for Waiver, Substitution, or State Payment of Fees and Costs is submitted.  Parents must file with the court their Certificate of Attendance within thirty (30) days of completing the program.

While required in divorce cases where there are minor children, a judge has the discretion to order parents to attend the Parent Education Program in paternity cases, custody-support-parenting time cases, complaints for modification and complaints for contempt.

Standing Order 2-16 now requires that parents register for the Parent Education Program within thirty (30) days of service of the Complaint for Divorce, and file an Affidavit Confirming Registration at Parent Education Program with the Court once each has registered.

A list of current Parent Education Program providers can be found here.

If you have questions about parenting issues and physical or legal custody in Massachusetts, contact the attorneys at Finn & Eaton, P.C. in Woburn and Saugus by calling 781 484-1066, or by sending an email to schedule a free initial consultation.

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