a. The court shall order every person who has filed an action for divorce, nullity or separate maintenance where the custody, visitation or support of the minor child is an issue to attend the “Parents' Education Program” established pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1999, c. 111 ( C.2A:34-12.3 ). Each party shall attend separate sessions of the program.
b. Each party shall be required to pay a fee of $25 for registration in the “Parents' Education Program” which shall be forwarded by the Clerk of the Superior Court for deposit in the “Parents' Education Program Fund” established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1999, c. 111 ( C.2A:34-12.2 ).
c. Except as provided in subsections d. and e. of this section, the court shall require all parties who have filed an action for divorce, nullity or separate maintenance where the custody, visitation or support of the minor child is an issue to complete the program prior to entry of judgment. Failure of a party to participate in the program shall be considered as a factor by the court in making any custody and visitation determinations.
d. The court may exempt a party from attending the program, if the court finds good cause for an exemption.
e. The court shall not refer a party to the program if a temporary or final order restraining either party from contact with the other has been issued pursuant to the “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991,” P.L. 1991, c. 261 ( C.2C:25-17 et seq. ), or if either party is restrained from contact with the other party, or a child of the other party, under the criminal or civil laws of this or any other state.
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