When you file for divorce or a determination of parental responsibilities in Colorado, virtually every court will require you to attend a co-parenting course offered in your area. Even if you are not required to attend a co-parenting course, we always recommend this type of course to help prepare you for life as a separated family. The courses do not necessarily need to be attended with the other parent.
Co-parenting classes vary a bit in their style and presentation but all offer insight to issues that will arise during the process of allocating parental rights and responsibilities. Classes may address various aspects of the parental responsibilities process including:
- Overview of legal issues
- Overview of legal process
- Alternative dispute resolution methods (mediation, Collaborative Law, parenting consultants, etc.)
- Developmental stages and needs of children in selecting the most age-appropriate schedule
- Conflict resolution skills
- Emotional and financial responsibilities of co-parenting
- Child support matters
- Parenting time overview and considerations
- Impact of divorce/separation on adults and children
- Communication skills
- How to avoid putting children in the middle of the conflict and the importance of not doing so
- Additional community resources for support
We always recommend finding some option for covering these issues whether a co-parenting class, support group, therapy or your family law attorney. In Colorado, there are co-parenting course options in every county. If a co-parenting course is required, you will want to make sure that the one you choose is approved by the court and file the appropriate certification of completion. Your family law attorney can help you with this determination.