Custody Classes in Southeastern Minnesota

Kristine L. Dicke
Ryan & Grinde, Ltd.Minnesota law requires parties to a contested custody or parenting time case to attend and complete a minimum of an eight-hour educational program. In all other proceedings involving custody, support or parenting time (i.e., uncontested proceedings) the court may require the parties to attend the educational program. Minn. Stat. Sec. 518.157, Subd. 3.

The purpose of the program is to educate parents about the impact that divorce, restructuring of families, and court proceedings have on children and families and to provide methods for disputeresolution.Minn. Stat. Sec. 518.157, Subd. 1.

Olmsted County pioneered the concept with its Dissolution & Custody Planning Series in 1978. At that time, a group of professionals concerned with the increasing number of custody studies established the course in an effort to reduce the conflict over children. They saw a significant decrease in the number of contested custody cases as a result.

Seventeen years later the Minnesota Legislature directed the Minnesota Supreme Court to
establish a task force to study several issues regarding children of divorced or restructured families. The report was issued in 1997 and can be found at

In January, 2011, Olmsted and Dodge Counties issued a standing order requiring parties with children to complete the statutory child custody classes prior to bringing any issue to court, including a request for temporary custody or approval of a final Marital Termination Agreement.

Please contact Ryan & Grinde, Ltd. for more information regarding approved educational programs and other issues related to your child custody case.