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Minnesota mandatory curriculum topics for parent education

Minnesota Statute 518.157 requires judges to court order parents with “contested custody and parenting time issues” to a court-approved parent education class like Parents Forever.

A related policy of the Minnesota Supreme Court requires parent education classes to meet minimum standards in order to be court-approved. The Parents Forever curriculum served, in part, as the foundation for the standards.

To be approved, the following 25 minimum standards must be addressed or provided in the class:

  1. Resources in the community to obtain additional help or information
  2. Overview of judicial process and proceedings (dissolution and paternity cases)
  3. Overview of legal issues (dissolution and paternity cases)
  4. Overview of the function of the court (dissolution and paternity cases)
  5. Alternatives for settling custody/visitation disputes (e.g., visitation expeditor, mediation)
  6. Legal phases of divorce/paternity proceeding
  7. Role of custody study
  8. Role of attorney
  9. Role of guardian ad litem
  10. Role of mediator/mediation
  11. Developmental needs/stages of children
  12. Impact of divorce/separation/conflict on adults
  13. Impact of divorce/separation/conflict on children
  14. Dynamics of domestic violence and sexual assault and impact on children
  15. Positive communication skills
  16. Co-parenting skills
  17. Conflict resolution skills
  18. Keeping children out of the middle of the conflict
  19. Cost of raising a child
  20. Emotional and financial responsibilities of parents
  21. Coping with personal stress
  22. Safety planning
  23. Child support issues (obligations/services)
  24. Visitation issues (planning and problems)
  25. Impact and realities of step families

Parents Forever meets all 25 minimum standards. This includes the Minnesota Parents Forever:

  • Curriculum

  • In-person classes

  • Online courses

Reviewed in 2022

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