Divorce Education and Mediation Program

Effective December 1, 1997, the Circuit and Chancery Courts of Hamilton County have implemented a program established and directed by the legislature to focus attention of divorcing parents on the effect of divorce on their minor children. The program is authorized by Chapter 557 of the Public Acts of 1997 and can be found at T.C.A. Sec 36-6-401, et seq.


03/19/2020 - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Court has approved, on a temporary basis until notified otherwise, parents may fulfill their parenting seminar obligation using: an interactive video class presentation in lieu of an in-person classroom setting. See list of approved parent education classes below.

PLEASE NOTE: This offering is not to be confused with an Online Parenting Course, which DOES NOT meet the requirement for a parenting class in this jurisdiction. See list of approved parent education classes below.

NOTICE for walk-in participants: Two of our three class providers normally offer the flexibility of attending a class without registration. Please check with each instructor to determine if that offering is still available for the class you want to attend; See list of approved parent education classes below.

Requirements for Divorce Involving Children

  1. Both parents must attend a four hour seminar on the impact of divorce on Children.
  2. Must file parenting plans with the original complaint or petition and, if disputed, the answer.
    Parenting Plan Forms (State of TN website)
  3. Must attempt to mediate all disputes over the parenting plan before coming to court.
    Local rule 10.06 regarding Family Law Mediation


The requirements of the legislation will apply to all cases involving the custody or support of minor children except Title IV-D cases.

Mediation is not required prior to court in cases where it is found that a parent has engaged in physical or sexual abuse or a pattern of emotional abuse of a child or a person living with the child

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Who pays for this seminar?
Answer: The cost of education and mediation will be borne by the parties and will be based on ability to pay. The parties will be free to use any mediator, but if they are unable to agree, the courts will only appoint certified Rule 31 mediators.

Question: Who do I contact if I have questions about this requirement?
Answer: You can email Barbara Ragsdale or call 423-209-6658

Larry L Henry

Larry L Henry

Contact Me

Circuit Court (Hours: 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Except for these holidays)

Address: 500 Courthouse, 625 Georgia Avenue Chattanooga, TN 37402.

Phone Number: 423-209-6700 and FAX Number: 423-209-6701

Larry Henry serves as Clerk for both the Circuit Court and Sessions Civil Court. The Clerk handles all documents relating to lawsuits (such as petitions, summons, warrants, subpoenas). He also manages the collection, receipt, and accounting of all litigation taxes, child support payments, court costs, and other fines. The Clerk maintains jury data and handles juror assignment for the Circuit court, Criminal court and Chancery court.