Q: My step daughter has 3 kids and filed for divorce. Is parenting class required? What if he won't go? Is she out of luck?
She insists the Judge told her the divorce won't be granted unless they both attend this parenting class. He refuses to go. What remedy does she have to get the divorce finalized and get an order for child support? He gives her no money for the small kids (3 under age 4). She is not working and has no income other than state assistance for food and healthcare for the kids. She can't live in public housing because when she lived there with her husband (and both their names were on the lease), he lied about his income. Now she is not accepted for housing. What recourse does she have? She's really in a bad spot, and any advise you can give would be wonderful.
Starting with the divorce questions, yes, attending the Helping Children Cope with Divorce class is mandatory for both parents and is offered at Family and Children's Services. If she is receiving certain types of state services through DHS, she may be able to waive the fee for the class.
If he refuses to participate in the class, the Judge may compel his attendance by Order of the Court, which would allow her to apply for the Court to hold him in Contempt if/when he still doesn't participate. He is ultimately does not participate in the divorce proceeding at all, she can motion the Court for a default judgment and get an order for custody, visitation, child support, etc. as she and the Judge see fit.
The public housing is an entirely different issue. If she can prove he was the sole source of the fraud you mentioned, I would think reapplying after she is officially divorced from him might help. That would be a good question for the housing agency she is applying to.
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