Parenting is hard work. For most people, parenting is even harder work after separation or divorce. One of the added challenges of parenting after separation or divorce is answering the multitude of questions children have about what has happened, including questions about where they will spend their time, about their feelings, about changes to the family, about what the law requires and generally about why is this happening. Parents have many of these same questions.
Educating parents and children is essential to understanding how to successfully manage this major life change. California is fortunate in that the State has adopted and developed a very important educational resource. The Judicial Council of California’s website for families and children (including teenagers) has a new, free online course for parents and for children which can be found at Families Change. The content addresses the emotional aspects of separation and divorce, children’s developmental needs and the court process. The website also contains an interactive website for children and teens.
After a parent completes the online course, a certificate of completion is available which can be filed with the court to demonstrate the parent has completed the course and passed the provided exam. This can help the court assess how well the needs of the children have been met.
This website has been created after extensive research by the Justice Education Society, a non-profit organization that supports the British Columbia justice system. The course has been changed to reflect California law and court process. The result is this incredible website for parents and children. While this specific course is not court-mandated, every parent and every child should utilize this website when divorce or separation occurs in their family.