Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Parenting Partners – Seminar for Separating Parents?
A: Parenting Partners, in-class and online, has been designed for the purpose of sharing information with parents about the impact of 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 a 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
• Common reactions by children and parents to divorce or other legal proceedings between the parents such as paternity, custody and parenting time (formerly called visitation)
• 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
Q: Why does the court require people to attend a Co-Parent Education class?
A: The period of divorce or separation is often a very difficult time for children as well as parents. Studies conducted by nationally renowned researchers indicate that parents who attend a Co-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 that Parent Education classes are helpful and appear to be of great benefit to children and parents.
Q: I am not interested in communicating with my child’s other parent and therefore do not need to build communication skills. Why must I still take the class?
A: Not communicating with the other parent may make you feel better; however, it can create an uncomfortable situation for your child. Children are aware of unspoken tension. When there is absolutely no communication between parents, children become messengers delivering messages from one parent to the other. Even if you do not like your child’s other parent, the class teaches you ways to develop a business relationship with that parent … the business of raising healthy children.
Q: My child’s other parent and I were never married. Do we have to attend the Co-Parent Education class?
A: Yes. If a paternity case has been filed in which a parent has requested the court to determine custody, parenting time or child support, the parents must attend the class. These classes are beneficial both for families of divorce or those who have never been married.
Q: Is this a class that teaches parenting skills?
A: This is not a parenting skills class. The focus of this class will be on how children and adults react to separation, divorce, and changes in the family. It will also help you understand what you can do to make those changes easier for your children through co-parenting and communicating effectively.
Q: I’m already a good parent! Do I have to attend this class?
A: Yes. Having to attend this class does not mean you are not already a good parent, or even a great parent. The court wants you to attend the class in order to get as much information as possible to assist you in helping your child through what may be a very difficult period of adjustment.
Q: Will I have to attend the class with the other parent?
A: No. The court recognizes that for some people this would be an uncomfortable situation. If you do not wish to attend class with the other parent, steps can be taken to ensure that you are not scheduled to attend the same class.
Q: What if a parent doesn’t attend the class as ordered?
A: State law provides that the court cannot grant the request of a parent who does not attend the class. For example, if you are the parent seeking a divorce, you must attend the class in order to obtain your divorce decree. If the other parent does not attend, the divorce may still be granted; however, if the other parent later requests a new or modified order from the court, that parent first must attend the class. In some instances the court may hold a party in contempt of court or impose other sanctions for refusal to take the class.
Q: I do not know where the other parent lives and have served the other parent by publication. Do I still need to take the class?
A: Yes. Even parties seeking a default divorce must take the Parent Education class.
Q: My time is limited as I work two jobs. How will I be able to fit the class into my schedule?
A: The live class takes 3 hours to complete. It is offered early in the divorce process and is available at different and flexible times including days, evenings and weekends. Go to www.familysolutionslv.org for the current schedule. The online class takes 4 to 5 hours to complete but you will have 30 days from the time you register.
Q: I have a good working relationship with my child’s other parent, and we agree completely about custody and parenting time. Do we still have to attend?
A: The law requires all parents to a case (as described earlier), unless waived by the court, to attend a class. The class is not just for those parents who are fighting over parenting time or custody. Working together is just one of several topics covered by the class. There are many other topics discussed in the class that even parents who are getting along can benefit from when raising their children.
Q: My child’s other parent currently does not reside in Nevada. Do they have to come back to Nevada to take this class?
A: If you or the other parent no longer lives in Nevada, you both may be able to satisfy the requirements of the Co-Parent Education class by attending a comparable class in the area where you each reside or by taking Parenting Partners on-line class. There are hundreds of such parent education classes around the country. You may wish to contact the court in your jurisdiction for information about programs available in your area.
Q: The other parent has never been involved in my child’s life and does not want to be. Do I still have to attend the class?
A: Yes. The situation of an uninvolved parent can pose problems for children as well as unique challenges for the custodial parent. The Co-Parent Education class will provide information and suggestions that may be useful to you in raising your child.
Q: My child and I have been going to counseling about my divorce. Do I still have to go to this class?
A: Yes. The importance of counseling is one of the topics discussed in a Co-Parent Education class. Although your counselor might help you with some of the issues mentioned in the class, the Parent Education class may provide you with information not provided in counseling and may complement whatever information you are given during your counseling sessions.
Q: Who teaches the classes and what are their qualifications?
A: The Eighth Judicial District Court has established standards for Co-Parent Education classes, including minimum qualifications for program presenters. The program must be conducted by at least one presenter who possesses a degree in a related field and has relevant experience in a number of areas, including child welfare and family dynamics.
Q: Will I be required to pay for this class?
A: The Eighth Judicial District Court requires programs to charge a class fee for attending a Co-Parent Education class. The in-class fees are $40 per person. The on-line class is $50 per person. A person of limited financial means may file an application with the Court and request a fee waiver. Fee waivers can only be used for the in-person class. Application forms for fee waiver can be requested at the Self Help Center in the Family Court & Services Building..
Q: How do I show the Court that I have taken the class?
A: Upon the successful completion of the course, the participant obtains a certificate of completion from either the instructor (classroom participant) or prints it out via the internet (online participant). Regardless of format, it is the responsibility of the participant to electronically file the certificate of completion with the Clerk of the Court before the decree can be finalized.