What is the New Jersey Parent Education Program in a Divorce?
In a divorce case, the spouses are not the only parties affected. Children are more often than not at a disadvantage. Although the degree of handling a difficult situation varies from one person to another, and while adults may move on easily after a stormy experience, the effect on children is different. Seeing their parents part ways, losing their family home when properties are divided including their beloved pets, and fearing what relatives, friends, and other people around might think of their once harmonious relationship can be quite traumatic. Considering that, New Jersey has adopted the Parent Education Act in New Jersey in 1999.
Mandatory NJ Parent Education Program
As a mandatory educational program for parents who are undergoing a divorce, this aims to teach parents how to protect their children in this time of crisis. While parents are thinking of going on separate paths, they should always be reminded of their duties and responsibilities as parents to their children and be sensitive of their feelings. The New Jersey Parent Education Program is intended to advise and assist parents on issues of separation, child custody and divorce. The statute requires that the program be made available twice a month. Completion of the program is required before entry of judgment. In resolving custody and visitation issues, the court will consider the failure of any of the parties to complete or participate in the program.
There is a $25.00 registration fee that paid to the Parents’ Education Fund which was established for said program’s creation, maintenance and operation and is administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts..
Every year, guidelines and curriculum for the NJ Parent Education Program are developed by a government appointed advisory committee. Updates are provided constantly in order to keep up with evolving issues. As provided for in N.J S.A.2A:34-12.3, the program’s purpose is to encourage cooperation between parties and to aid parents in resolving issues that they may encounter during the separation and divorce process by promoting an understanding on the following:
- The legal processes and expense of separation or divorce, together with arbitration and mediation;
- The financial responsibilities for raising the children;
- The interaction between parent and child, family relationship, and any other issue of concern and adjustment during the divorce process;
- How children respond to separation and divorce and how to inform them about it, means by which to spot problems and keep communication open between them as well as how to answer questions and concerns the children may have about the process;
- The means by which parents can assist their children throughout separation or divorce, tools, ideas, specific strategies, including resources for assistance;
- How parents can help their children after the separation or divorce and how to deal with new family arrangements and different set of rules; and
- That cooperation may sometimes be unsuitable in cases of domestic violence.
If you have any questions regarding the NJ Parent Educational Program, divorce or separation, and wish to be clarified on some points, do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen for a free comprehensive in office consultation with a NJ child custody lawyer at (201) 845-7400.