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How parental education programs can help you and your family

Parenting after separation or divorce can be one of the most challenging parts of a break-up for many couples. That's why a number of states, including Arizona, require divorcing couples with children to participate in a parental education program.

Even though these programs are mandated in our state by courts, parenting education programs can be beneficial for all couples transitioning to co-parenting. Rather than treat the classes as something to endure in order to get your divorce finalized, consider what you can get out of them and, most importantly, how your children can benefit.

Even for parents who still deal amicably with one another, have a parenting plan in place and commit to put their children's interests above their own problems, coordinating schedules, sharing expenses and maintaining good communication can be a challenge. Further, you both will be taking on responsibilities that you relied on your spouse for in the past.

Parental education programs can teach you the skills you need to do this. This means less disruption and uncertainty in your children's lives and fewer sources of misunderstanding that can cause friction among co-parents.

Parental education classes also teach parents how to help their kids better cope with their new family dynamic. It's essential for both parents to recognize signs of distress in their children and work together to help resolve whatever issues they're having. Children who see their divorcing parents working together to continue to care for them and look out for their well-being have a better chance of getting through the experience without serious emotional scars.

Your Arizona family law attorney can ensure that you meet the state's parental education requirements. He or she can also help you choose a program that will best meet the needs of your family.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "3 Reasons to Consider Parenting Education During Divorce," accessed Sep. 27, 2017

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