Every person that files for divorce where custody, visitation or support of a minor child is an issue is required to attend a Parents’ Education Program. There is a mandatory $25 fee for the program which is generally collected at the time the pleadings are filed.
The purpose of the program is to assist parents in resolving issues that arise in the divorce process.
These parenting issues include, but are not limited to, the follow:
- Understanding the legal process and cost of divorce or separation, including arbitration and mediation;
- Understanding the financial responsibilities for the children;
- Understanding the interaction between parent and child, the family relationship and any other areas of adjustment and concern during the process of divorce or separation;
- Understanding how children react to divorce or separation, how to spot problems, what to tell them about divorce or separation, how to keep communication open and how to answer questions and concerns the children may have about the process;
- Understanding how parents can help their children during the divorce or separation, specific strategies, ideas, tools, and resources for assistance;
- Understanding how parents can help children after the divorce or separation and how to deal with new family structures and different sets of rules; and
- Understanding that cooperation may sometimes be inappropriate in cases of domestic violence.
It is important that you attend the Parents’ Education Program. If a party does not attend, it will be held against them because the Court will consider this a factor when making any custody and visitation determinations.