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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

518.157 PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAM IN PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING
CHILDREN.
    Subdivision 1. Implementation; administration. By January 1, 1998, the chief judge
of each judicial district or a designee shall implement one or more parent education programs
within the judicial district for the purpose of educating parents about the impact that divorce, the
restructuring of families, and judicial proceedings have upon children and families; methods for
preventing parenting time conflicts; and dispute resolution options. The chief judge of each
judicial district or a designee may require that children attend a separate education program
designed to deal with the impact of divorce upon children as part of the parent education program.
Each parent education program must enable persons to have timely and reasonable access
to education sessions.
    Subd. 2. Minimum standards; plan. The Minnesota Supreme Court should promulgate
minimum standards for the implementation and administration of a parent education program.
    Subd. 3. Attendance. In a proceeding under this chapter where custody or parenting time is
contested, the parents of a minor child shall attend a minimum of eight hours in an orientation and
education program that meets the minimum standards promulgated by the Minnesota Supreme
Court. In all other proceedings involving custody, support, or parenting time the court may order
the parents of a minor child to attend a parent education program. The program shall provide the
court with names of persons who fail to attend the parent education program as ordered by the
court. Persons who are separated or contemplating involvement in a dissolution, paternity, custody,
or parenting time proceeding may attend a parent education program without a court order. Unless
otherwise ordered by the court, participation in a parent education program must begin within
30 days after the first filing with the court or as soon as practicable after that time based on the
reasonable availability of classes for the program for the parent. Parent education programs must
offer an opportunity to participate at all phases of a pending or postdecree proceeding. Upon
request of a party and a showing of good cause, the court may excuse the party from attending the
program. If past or present domestic abuse, as defined in chapter 518B, is alleged, the court shall
not require the parties to attend the same parent education sessions and shall enter an order setting
forth the manner in which the parties may safely participate in the program.
    Subd. 4. Sanctions. The court may impose sanctions upon a parent for failure to attend or
complete a parent education program as ordered.
    Subd. 5. Confidentiality. Unless all parties agree in writing, statements made by a party
during participation in a parent education program are inadmissible as evidence for any purpose,
including impeachment. No record may be made regarding a party's participation in a parent
education program, except a record of attendance at and completion of the program as required
under this section. Instructors shall not disclose information regarding an individual participant
obtained as a result of participation in a parent education program. Parent education instructors
may not be subpoenaed or called as witnesses in court proceedings.
    Subd. 6. Fee. Except as provided in this subdivision, each person who attends a parent
education program shall pay a fee to defray the cost of the program. A party who qualifies for
waiver of filing fees under section 563.01 is exempt from paying the parent education program fee
and the court shall waive the fee or direct its payment under section 563.01. Program providers
shall implement a sliding fee scale.
History: 1995 c 127 s 1; 1997 c 245 art 2 s 1; 2000 c 444 art 2 s 22,23; 2004 c 273 s
11; 2006 c 260 art 5 s 47