The Parent Education Program utilized by the Monmouth County Superior Court was established In 1999. New Jersey created this mandatory education program to help parents understand the key issues in a divorce, and to promote cooperation between parents in an effort to provide a positive environment for the children. Under N.J.S.A. 2A:34-12.5, any person who files for divorce, nullity or separate maintenance where the custody, visitation, or support of a minor child is an issue must attend the Parents' Education Program. The parties to the divorce must attend separate sessions of the program. Each party is required to pay a $25 registration fee for the program. While in most cases the parties are required to complete the program prior to an entry of the final judgment of divorce, the court may exempt either party from the program for good cause.
Parent Education Program - Monmouth County
The Parent Education program in Monmouth County is designed to educate parents about the impact divorce has on families, and to prepare parents for life after divorce. Some of the topics covered include:
- Court procedures, and the option to go through mediation or arbitration (as opposed to litigation);
- The responsibilities of both parties for the continued care and support of the children;
- The way in which divorce effects children and families;
- How to address any questions or concerns the children may have about the divorce process and life after divorce;
- Strategies, tools, and resources for helping children to cope with divorce;
- Domestic violence and steps to take in cases where there is a threat (or existence of) domestic violence.
The Parent Education Program utilized by Monmouth County encourages parents to work together in order to protect the children from the negative consequences of a contentious divorce. Attendance is mandatory, but if either party has a temporary or final restraining order, attendance is not permitted. Failure to participate in the program (except in cases where there is exemption or a TRO or FRO) may be considered by the court when making a determination of custody or visitation.
Studies have shown that parents participating in education programs such as the one required in New Jersey experience less conflict over issues such as child support and spousal support. Additionally, parents who reported higher levels of conflict during divorce experienced a noticeable improvement in visitation and time-sharing issues following the program.
Parenting programs reduce conflict between the parties by raising awareness of the ways in which children experience divorce. Such programs encourage parents to see things from the point of view of the children, which may facilitate a more peaceful process, and create a willingness to mediate rather than litigate.
Monmouth County Divorce Attorney
For more information on the divorce process in Monmouth County and the parenting programs in Monmouth County, contact the offices of Villani at (732) 965-3525 for a FREE consultation. Our experienced Family Law attorneys can help you gain a better understanding of the divorce process, and how to proceed in a manner that will ensure the best possible results for your family.