Online Co-Parenting Course Can Help Ease Transition

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Oct 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

Parents who decide to separate or divorce know the difficulties of adjusting to co-parenting schedules. Deciding who takes the kids when, who stays in the family home, and how to best accommodate school and work schedules can be a hassle. All of these practicalities bound up in the emotional turmoil of a divorce can be complicated. Many U.S. states, including Alabama, are requiring couples with children to take a co-parenting course before they can formalize a divorce. According to a Reuters report on user reviews, the most widely used online program can be helpful.

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According to researchers, conflict between parents before and during a divorce can also contribute to difficulties in adjusting for children and teens. Any conflicts that arise during co-parenting negotiations can also trickle down to children, having a negative impact. This is contrary to the belief that it is the divorce itself that leads to turmoil for youth. Previous research has shown that children whose parents can learn to cooperate and get along while co-parenting, fare better during and after a divorce.

Many couples who have been through divorce agree that the most difficult time is not after a divorce, but while a divorce is in progress. The period of conflict during separation is not just challenging for couples, but for children as well. Our Birmingham divorce and family law attorneys understand the challenges faced by our clients. We are committed to providing informed and strategic counsel to help clients achieve optimal results and find the best long-term solutions.

Legal policies and laws forcing parents into co-parenting classes support this belief. Advocates believe that the courses can help parents learn to communicate, minimize conflict, and help their children make necessary adjustments. Researchers and reviewers have accessed online parenting courses that meet court requirements, analyzing designs, content, and relevant information. Specifically, reviewers were seeking to determine whether the courses actually provided information based on scientific studies. According to reports, the content and quality focused on adjustment, adult adjustment to divorce, co-parenting, and legal information. There were also additional sections dedicated to specific issues including violence, substance abuse, and mental health problems.

Reviewers looked at a specific program provided by “Online Parenting Programs,” which is accepted by more than 850 U.S. counties. The courses were designed to provide instructional methods, encouraging users to reflect on certain topics and develop a plan rather than providing passive instruction which simply requires the user to read or listen. The review, published in the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage evaluated impressions of users and how they responded to the teaching. Parents who felt that the online program was a benefit were more likely to improve communication.

According to researchers, the online program not only satisfies court requirements, but it successfully provides content that can improve outcomes for parents and children. The program provides specific counsel and strategy, as well as information on specific issues like changes to family structure, dealing with co-parenting finances, and developing communication strategies between parents and children.

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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