Saturday, February 18, 2012

Divorce and Required Parenting Classes

In December I went to the courthouse to get some information about filing for divorce. Thankfully the girl at the counter mentioned something about parenting classes. I told her I knew about them, but we didn’t need to take them because my “ex” and I were in agreement about everything.


We were required to take the class, even though online it’s only “suggested” on the their website! Nice.

So, I immediately called the local class and they wouldn’t have anything until FEBRUARY! You’ve got to be kidding me. Then I called one in the next county. They had one the first weekend in January. That’s more like it.

Because what I also found out was we couldn’t get on the calendar until this class was taken! o_O

Happy as a clam, getting all my ducks in a row, I waited for the first week of January to show up. Yah, look at me go!


 divorce 2

I get a call 2 days before the class that they’re cancelling it but I can go the next Saturday (on the weekend I work). At first I said “no” until I found out they were canceling the one on the NEXT weekend I had off. So, I bit the bullet and swapped Saturdays with a co-worker.

The ex and I show up at the meeting time and it seems the class is too full and we have to go to the local University. Whatever, I just want to get the class over with. We all got into our vehicles and made a train to the college.

We get into a nice meeting room and find out we can only be there for an hour. We listen to the instructor for about 45 minutes and then we trek up into the library to a room smaller than the first one we started off in. So, we head back to the room we had just been in.

As soon as we got there we had a 10 minute break, which became a 15 minute break. At the top of every mind numbing hour we had a break. At noon we had an hour break.

In the midst of all of this, there was a guy who seemed to be the victim of his soon to be ex wife. As he continued to talk about his “experiences” throughout the ENTIRE day, he was getting on everyone’s nerves. Whenever we were allowed to share, the guy immediately spoke up. At one point, most of us started looking at each other and rolling our eyes and groaning under our breath. The guy was a total nut job.

If any of you have seen The Breakfast Club and how bored they all were. That pretty much explains how we all felt. Most of us were couples that resented the fact that we had to be there when we were in agreement to the divorce. The instructor at one point admitted to me that she felt the class should be 4 hours not EIGHT!

It seems at one point, my “ex” fell asleep. I spent most of the day being amused by my friends texting me things I could do to entertain the class like standing up and singing I’m a Little Tea Pot. One gal towards the front almost fell asleep and that had me in and her in a fit of giggles we tried to keep under wraps.

Towards the end of this torturous class, we were all just bored out of our skulls and found pretty much everything stupid and amusing. The whacky guy who just couldn’t stop sharing actually had me laughing out loud at the end. I couldn’t help myself. I’m telling you! What he shared about his future was my undoing. I won’t share it here because I don’t want to offend anyone in case their belief systems align with his, but we were all just dying.

One of the gals remembered that I had mentioned that it might come to a point where I needed to have a roommate to help pay the bills. She got my attention and nodded at the guy and mouthed, “Hey, there’s your roommate!” bwahahahahaha Over my dead body. I told her not to say a word!

The last half hour of class another group had to use the room so we once again marched up to the library and just sat around looking at each other. We literally had NOTHING to do, but legally, our instructor had to keep us there until 5pm. Of course, the crazy guy kept us entertained with his thoughts and sharing them. And to think his “ex” would leave him for a couple weeks at a time and not tell him where she was.

Now, I do have to say, that these classes would be beneficial to a young couple or those who are disagreeing about their parenting plan. There should be an option to opt out of the class if you’ve been separated like my “ex” and I have been (for over 5 yrs) or if you’re in agreement with the parenting plan. I honestly feel this was one of the most wasted days of my life. I’ll never get those 8 hours back.

If you’ve gone through a divorce, is there a part of the process that you felt wasn’t necessary or felt needed to be changed?


The Book Club Network - TBCN said...

Oh, my what a horrible no good very bad day you had! It sounds like the Drivers Ed class I had to take once. Grin! But your class sounded worse!


June M. said...

My sister had to do this too. But in our state (Kentucky) the kids under a certain age have to go too. My nephew, who was 10 at the time, had to go but his 16 & 17 year old sisters did not.

Kristin said...

Um, why haven't I gotten a email with full details of the kooky guy? Lol!!

Bruce Sallan said...

Yeah, the lawyers were VERY UNNECESSARY!

TheAtticGirl said...

Wow, I'm glad I wasn't required to do that. What a waste of 8 hours you could have spent being a PARENT. LOL

Liz Mays said...

I think it was pretty straight forward in Michigan. I would never recommend someone not get a lawyer, but my divorce was so amicable and my ex and I made all the decisions together about money and property that we pretty much just told our lawyers what to do so the money we paid them was probably more than they deserved.

Alura said...

The classes are laughable. Worse was that somehow, since I filed for the divorce I HAD to take the class and my ex did not. Even though he has physical custody. There were no issues in the divorce, no custody issues but I was REQUIRED to take the course.

I learned ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from the class. It covered nothing that I didn't already know.

Fortunately, I was able to do mine online.

cordell said...

Divorce brings with it many negative emotions. Some of these emotions can cause stress that will interfere in our ability to function in our every day lives. Family disputes such as divorce or separation can be an emotional and chaotic time of your life - especially when there are children involved.
Cordell and Cordell

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