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§48-9-104. Parent education classes.

(a) The family court shall, by order, and with the approval of the Supreme Court of Appeals, designate an organization or agency to establish and operate education programs designed for parents who have filed an action for divorce, paternity, support, separate maintenance or other custody proceeding and who have minor children. The education programs shall be designed to instruct and educate parents about the effects of divorce and custody disputes on their children and to teach parents ways to help their children and minimize their trauma.

(b) The family court shall issue an order requiring parties to an action for divorce involving a minor child or children to attend parent education classes established pursuant to subsection (a) of this section unless the court determines that attendance is not appropriate or necessary based on the conduct or circumstances of the parties. The court may, by order, establish sanctions for failure to attend. The court may also order parties to an action involving paternity, separate maintenance or modification of a divorce decree to attend such classes.

(c) The family court may require that each person attending a parent education class pay a fee, not to exceed $25, to the clerk of the circuit court to defray the cost of materials and of hiring teachers: Provided, That where it is determined that a party is indigent and unable to pay for such classes, the court shall waive the payment of the fee for such party. The clerk of the circuit court shall, on or before the tenth day of each month, transmit all fees collected under this subsection to the state Treasurer for deposit in the state Treasury to the credit of special revenue fund to be known as the "parent education fund" which is hereby created. All moneys collected and received under this subsection and paid into the state Treasury and credited to the parent education fund shall be used by the administrative office of the Supreme Court of Appeals solely for reimbursing the provider of parent education classes for the costs of materials and of providing such classes. Such moneys shall not be treated by the Auditor and treasurer as part of the general revenue of the state.

(d) The administrative office of the Supreme Court of Appeals shall submit a report to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance summarizing the effectiveness of any program of parent education no later than two years from the initiation of the program.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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