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of divorce in North Carolina

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Should I attend co-parenting education classes?

Over the years of raising a child and watching them grow, parents can feel confident that they know their children – and know what is best for them. They take their parenting responsibilities seriously and watch out for their children no matter what.

Even so, parenting can suddenly seem like a challenge when parents decide to divorce. Moving forward with a parenting plan and parenting in two different households is new territory for the whole family.

Parent Education Programs can assist divorcing parents

While parents know what is best for their children, a divorce can have a significant impact on how each individual approaches parenting. It can turn everything parents think they know upside down.

Thankfully, there are many resources available to divorcing parents and families. Mental health professionals and popular children’s shows like Sesame Street provide tools that help parents and children grow accustomed to their new reality during and after the divorce.

North Carolina also provides Parent Education Programs, which are essentially co-parenting classes.

These courses are not required – except in the twelfth district. However, family courts still reserve the authority to order parents who are in dispute over visitation or child custody to attend these programs.

How can this program help?

The co-parenting education courses generally focus on helping parents:

  • Learn how to keep children out of their conflicts;
  • Understand how parental conflict impacts children;
  • Understand how their children might react to the divorce, and how to handle their reactions; and
  • Learn how to meet the needs of their children from two households.

Attending these courses can help prepare parents for the co-parenting journey, and even provide a foundation to create a parenting plan. So, while co-parenting education is not always a requirement, it can be beneficial.

Learning on the job is unavoidable when it comes to co-parenting after divorce. However, parents must be aware of the many resources at their disposal to help them navigate this new chapter effectively.