The New Jersey legislature created the New Jersey Parent’s Education Program in 1999 as a mandatory education program for all parents who are going through a divorce in which custody, visitation, or support of a minor child is at issue. N.J.S.A. 2A:34-12.1-12.8. Both parents must comply with this education requirement before the court will enter judgment in their case. If a parent fails to participate in the required education program, a court may consider that failure as a factor in any custody and visitation decision. Each parent must pay a $25 registration fee as a part of the divorce filing fee, which goes into the Parents’ Education Fund to support the education program. A government-appointed advisory committee reviews the program each year in order to create a fresh and updated curriculum and guidelines for the education program.
The main point of the program is to educate divorcing parents about how to both protect and parent their children during their divorce proceedings. The curriculum reminds parents to put their children’s needs and interests in front of their own and be particularly sensitive to their children’s emotions. The program focuses on helping parents being more responsive to their children’s needs and working to normalize and stabilize the new family structure that necessarily follows a divorce. Additionally, the program curriculum focuses on teaching parents to cooperate in raising their children and resolving any issues related to their children that might arise during or following the divorce. Finally, the program teaches parents about the divorce or separation process in general, their financial responsibilities for their children, and the resources that are available to assist them and their children in dealing with the divorce.
Attending the Parent’s Education Program is only a small part of the New Jersey divorce process. No matter how complex the issues in your family’s case may be, however, we always will be here to help. The attorneys of Argentino Family Law & Child Advocacy, LLC, have handled cases involving all aspects of divorce, child custody, and parentage cases, as well as cases involving a multitude of other matters related to families and children. Please contact the experienced New Jersey family and child lawyers at our office if you have any legal questions about children and your family.