Issues of parenting in child custody and visitation cases are often very complicated, as they consider a wide range of factors when determining the best interests of a child. After all, it is the responsibility of the New York court to ensure that their decisions regarding custody orders are made according to the needs of the specific children, or child involved in the case. Because of this, before a final decree is declared in a dissolution, divorce, or custody case, the court of New York might require parents to complete a course of Parental education which may be different and cover different matters depending on the nature of your circumstances.
Although the lessons can be different in parental education classes in regards to such things as format, the general idea of all parent education classes is to help parents separating from a partner or spouse to better understand the way their divorce from an ex-partner might affect their children. This education therefore ensures that the parents have the skills and resources necessary – regardless of whether they are a non-custodial, or custodial parent – to provide the appropriate care for their child, and help them move through a transitional period in their lives with as little distress as possible.
While parent education is sometimes something that an individual parent, or both parents might choose to do alone, with the permission of the educational program itself, it is also something that can be ordered by the New York court in specific circumstances. For example, parent education classes are sometimes ordered in cases that involve child custody, divorce, separation, visitation, or negligence proceedings involving a child under the age of eighteen. However, it’s important to note that in the State of New York, you cannot be ordered to attend a parent education class with the other parent present, if there is some indication of domestic violence presence. For example, if you are concerned that your safety might be at risk because you attend a parent education class, then it is your choice of whether or not to attend. However, if you do not attend the class, you will be responsible for contacting the administrator for that program.
It is also possible for parents to request to be moved out of a parental education class if they are dealing with specific circumstances that might make attendance in those lessons difficult or inappropriate. For example, just because both parents within a custody case are required to attend a parent education class, doesn’t mean that both parents will need to take the same class. There are some circumstances wherein you can ask the court to be moved into a separate class. Further, if a domestic violence or restraining order has occurred between both of the parties, then you may be permitted to schedule separate classes if it is deemed appropriate with the New York court.
Parental education classes cover a number of important topics, including options available for resolving disputes, the stages involved in divorce and separation, the way children react to divorce, and how to manage parenting challenges following divorce. Most classes will cover an insight into:
- The developmental stages that each child experiences, and how these stages can be impacted by divorce, visitation, and custody battles.
- The emotional impact of divorce, and how to better manage the repercussions in children that occur as a result of the dissolution of a marriage.
- Assistance in identifying the difference between normal reactions to separations, and more concerning behaviors, as well as finding resources to help with overwhelming emotional responses to divorce.
- The way that some children may respond to certain forms of parental conduct, and long-distance parenting.
- Strategies for how parents might come together for co-parenting strategies both during and after the divorce takes place.
- Ideas for how to schedule shared parenting plans, parenting time, and custody agreements to factor in the best interests of the child or children.
- How to make the most of mediation and conflict resolution measures.
- How to access further supportive resources both during the divorce process and after, for the parents and the children involved.
Often, parent education programs help significantly with the breakdown of an existing family dynamic, both for the parents and children involved. After all, parents who have a better understanding of their own feelings, as well as the way in which children might respond to certain events during divorce and child custody matters, have a better chance of finding the correct responses to issues, and managing disputes. What’s more, parents involved in parent education programs often have a better understanding of the range of dispute resolution options they can access during and after the divorce procedure.
If the New York Court orders you to attend parent education classes, then you will be given the details and signed up accordingly. However, if you choose to attend a class yourself as a voluntary action, then you might be required to contact the people involved at the parent education program that you would like to attend. This should help you to find out information about the times, dates, and locations where classes are offered. Importantly, many parent education classes do come with a fee, but the overall cost will depend on the type of program that you attend, and the fee usually will be kept at low prices. Depending on underlying factors, such as your existing income, you might be able to waive the fee, or attend the class at a reduced fee.
Keep in mind that you will be responsible for filing the certificate of completion that you receive once you have completed the course according to New York court requirements. For more information about issues of child custody, and visitation, or how to manage divorce or custody procedures when children are involved, please speak to Mr. Darren Shapiro at your earliest convenience. Couples interested in using mediation as part of their divorce process can also schedule a free, initial half-hour consultation together.