Parent Education Requirements


MILWAUKEE COUNTY RESIDENTS

If your divorce is taking place in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, both you and your spouse are required to attend an approved parent education program of at least four hours in length regarding the effect of a divorce action on your children. Attendance is mandatory and you will not be able to be divorced in Milwaukee County unless an attendance form is on file with the Family Court Commissioner’s office, even if you and your spouse do not have any disputed issues regarding the children. Please provide us with a copy of the attendance report form that you will receive when you attend this session.

Only attendance at approved programs will be considered as meeting the requirement. These programs do not take the place of counseling, therapy or mediation. Therefore, none of those types of programs can be substituted for these educational programs. Parties may attend together or separately (if the specific program allows separate attendance). The provider will prepare a form indicating that the party (or parties) attending has completed the program. Each party will receive a copy of the form, but the original will be returned to the Court by the provider.

Following is a list of programs currently approved for completion of the parent education requirement.

“CHILDREN COPE WITH DIVORCE”

This program consists of two sessions of 2 hours each, or one 4 hour session. The program is directed at parents. It focuses specifically on the needs of children during the stressful time of a divorce. The program is presented for parents only by professionals specifically trained in using this program. Child care is not provided, and children are not allowed to attend. Participants can select the time and location of the program they wish to attend. And, while most couples attend the same program, a participant can ask to attend a program when his or her spouse will not be present. For further information as to times and locations for the programs, please contact one of the following providers:

Aurora Family Service — (414) 342-4560
Catholic Charities — (414) 771-2881
Lutheran Social Services — (800) 488-5181

“CHILDREN IN THE MIDDLE”

This is a 4 hour program directed at parents and concentrates on issues that children may face when they are “caught in the middle” of marital problems. Group discussions focus on how to avoid these problems and how to provide children with positive parental interactions. This program is led by masters level therapists who are specially trained to conduct such programs and is currently presented on certain Saturday mornings. For further information on this program, please contact WSPP PSYCHOLOGY CENTER at (414) 464-9777.

“THE SUCCESSFUL DIVORCE: Through the Eyes of the Child”

This 4 hour program aims at helping divorcing parents understand their own and their children’s emotional needs during and after a divorce. This program is offered by:

Discovery and Recovery Clinic, Inc. — (414) 321-4411
Bernie Fluhr, CICSW/CMFT, and Marcia O’Boyle, CICSW — (414) 967-0153

COURT MANDATED DIVORCE CLASS

Jewish Family Services offers the Court-Mandated Divorce Class required by the State of Wisconsin for all divorcing parents of minor children. The class is held the first Thursday of every month from 5:30 to 8:30. Click here for more information. Appointments available 7am-11pm.

“PROTECTING CHILDREN AGAINST THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF A HIGH-CONFLICT SEPARATION OR DIVORCE”

This program — offered by Achievement Associates, Limited — is designed to provide education for parents concerning the effects of negative parental behaviors and helps develop the necessary information and skills to develop a realistic co-parenting plan. These seminars are offered several times each week, including weekends and upon short notice. Group and private seminars are offered at 3 locations — downtown Milwaukee, Mequon and Elm Grove. For further information call Ali Ruvin at (262) 241-5099.

COOPERATIVE PARENTING AND DIVORCE

This extended course for parents consists of two-hour sessions once a week for eight weeks. It helps provide a framework for effective co-parenting, with a focus on transforming a marital relationship into a relationship geared toward raising emotionally healthy children and minimizing the negative impact of divorce on those children. Through class work, videos and weekly assignments, parents will learn techniques and strategies for creating interaction with the co-parent which are truly child-focused. the course is presented by a clinical psychologist. For further information concerning the course and the fees required, call Christine Harness at (414) 270-1981.

OTHER WISCONSIN RESIDENTS

Most counties require that both you and your spouse attend an approved parent education program of at least four hours in length regarding the effect of a divorce action on your children. Attendance in most counties is mandatory and you will not be able to be divorced unless an attendance form is on file with the Family Court Commissioner’s office, even if you and your spouse do not have any disputed issues regarding the children. Please provide us with a copy of the attendance report form that you will receive when you attend this session. We require you, as our client, to attend this class within forty-five (45) days of the date of this letter. Please contact your local Family Court Commissioner’s office for further details if you do not receive information on requirements..

We suggest that you take the parenting class at your earliest possible convenience as it may help you and your family in coping with the divorce.