Divorce & Annulment Article


Parent Education Classes

Parent Education Classes

On April 18, 1996, the Governor of Arizona approved a law to establish Domestic Relations Education on Children's Issues Programs throughout the state. This law (Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-351 et seq.) requires every parent of a natural or adopted un-emancipated minor child who files for divorce, separation, parenting time/custody, or any paternity proceeding in which a party has requested that the Superior Court determine custody, specific parenting time or child support to attend a Parent Education class. The Court may order attendance when parents are involved in a child support case or seek to change an order for custody or parenting time. This booklet answers commonly asked questions about the class.

NOTE: This article is intended to provide general information about Parent Education classes in Arizona. It is not a complete nor authoritative review of this subject and reflects the law of the State of Arizona only as of the date of its publication.

What is a Parent Education Class?

The class (called the Parent Information Program in some counties) has been designed for the purpose of sharing information with parents about the impact that divorce, the restructuring of families and the court's involvement in your case can have on your child. The class provides parents with an opportunity to explore the following topics:

  • What parents can do to help their child adjust to the divorce or separation
  • Emotional effects of divorce or separation on parents and their child
  • Harmful effects of parental conflict on children, including domestic violence
  • Ways parents can reduce parental conflict
  • Avoiding and dealing with problems
  • Factors that contribute to a child's healthy adjustment, including the value of parenting plans
  • Domestic relations court procedures and available community resources
  • Common reactions by children and parents to divorce or other legal proceedings between the parents such as paternity
  • Helpful and harmful parent behaviors
  • Communication and co-parenting skills
  • Children's reactions to divorce and separation at different stages
  • Warning signs of children having serious problems
  • Emotional and financial responsibility of parents

The Court requires people to attend a Parent Education class because:

The period of divorce or separation is often a very difficult time for children as well as parents. Studies conducted by nationally renown researchers indicate that parents who attend a Parent Education class are better able to work cooperatively for the benefit of their children, and that such classes may keep them from having to return to court in the future. Both parents and courts around the country report Parent Education classes are helpful and appear to be of great benefit to children and parents.

How do I show the Court that I have taken the class?

In most counties, the instructor of the class will have forms that verify your attendance available for you to return to the Clerk of Superior Court for filing in your county. In a few counties, the instructor forwards the forms to the Clerk of Superior Court directly. Check with your individual instructor about the method that is used by your county. The form must contain your court case number, your date(s) of attendance, your name and the name, address and telephone number of the instructor.

Helpful Tips for Parents

Children whose parents are separating or who are already divorced must make a big adjustment. They need lots of special attention. The good news is that it is possible to protect, love, and nurture your child even though you are no longer together with the other parent! Here are a few tips to help you identify your child's particular needs. With a little extra "know how," you can personally help your child succeed now and after your separation or divorce. 

  • Listen To Your Child - Your child's statements are important. Children's feelings of fear, confusion and anger during the separation or divorce are often reflected in their statements. 
  • Talk To Your Child - Your child may not understand that the separation or divorce was not his or her fault. In fact, some children blame themselves for the problems that parents experience with each other. Help your child understand that the Helpful Tips For Parents divorce or separation is not their fault, and that your child is not being "divorced" by the parents.
  • Be There To Comfort - There will be times when your child will display behavior that may appear disruptive. Remember that your children will need to know they are loved, they will be cared for, and that both parents will still be their mom and dad.
  • Protect Your Child From Disagreements - If you include your child in conversations or disagreements about the other parent, your child will become insecure and uncomfortable around you. Children should never be placed in the middle of a disagreement between parents or made into messengers, or overhear you making derogatory remarks about the other parent.
  • Praise Your Child - Praising your child will help them grow up feeling very good about themselves. When children feel good about themselves, it is easier to understand that although their parents are no longer together, both parents still love them.
  • Have Fun With Your Child - Your child needs to spend quality time with you regardless of how difficult your divorce or separation may be. Having fun allows parents and children to feel good about their relationship.

© 2003 Arizona Supreme Court


Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • My question is: Sept 2003 I got married in San Jose, CA. I moved to Phoenix, AZ the same year in July, We had a daughter May 2004, So what Law would my divorce be under? My husband had a house several year before we got married, and till this day Im not on the title of the house or the Cars we purchased during our marriage, Am I intitled to half of anything if I divorce?? I never changed my last name to my married name can that be an issue??
  • i don't have the money for an attorney to complete my divorce. I have been living seperately from my husband for 4 years. I don't qualify for living at or near poverty level but only have about $40.00 a month in disposable income. Is there anywhere that i can get help?
  • My husband and I are in the process of getting a divorce, am I able to purchase a house before the divorce is final?
  • I pay spousal maitenance monthly to Support Payment Clearing House directy, in the form of a check. The divorce decree that is on record has a date listed as the final date or last payment to be payed through January 31, 2019. Do I need to fill any additional closure documents or just send the last payment when due? It is not withheld from my paycheck. I write the check. Not sure if I need to file anything or if they get it per the decree.
  • MY HUSBAND ABANDONED ME 3 YRS AGO, HOW CAN I GET A DIVORCE AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE,I WOULD LIKE TO KEEP THE HOUSE THAT I'VE BEEN PAYING EVER SINCE HE LEFT OUR CHILDREN ARE ALL GROWN
  • My husband and I have been separated for three years. We have an adult daughter aged 23 and another who is nearly 20- she is getting married in a month. We wish to file co-petitioner divorce but do we file the packet for with children or not? She is not emancipated, but does live on her own and will be married as I said in a month.
  • Why does one have to make a newspaper publication when filing for divorce?
  • Is there a time limit between filing a legal seperation and filing a divorce?
  • Do I need to get annulment from my two month marriage. I recently found out I have been married for the past 9 years to another man that I thought I was divorced from. The original husband is a Veteran and although I might not be eligible for benefits because I left 9 years ago, I need to know if I can still apply for benefits being currently married. Does this 2 month marriage exist?
  • I got married in Morocco, got my husband to U S we have been married for 3 years. One day, he decided to leave and two weeks later, I found out he was filing divorce for domestic violence, I confronted him and he said it was the only way to get his legal status. I hired an attorney and got divorced but not for domestic violence, it was for irreconsiliable marriage. Can he still get a chance to get his green card?

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