Answer: Experts have long recognized that when parents are involved in a custody battle children are usually the victims. In situations where this battle is lengthy and particularly difficult, children could end up in the foster care or juvenile court systems. These are not good places for kids. So, in order to prevent those problems in the future, the court asks all parents to do take some simple steps (like taking this class) to help keep the children from experiencing more problems.
Who will benefit from focusonthekids.org?
Answer: Anyone involved in a divorce, modification of divorce or situation where dad's rights must be established by the court (when Mom and Dad weren't married) should take the course. In addition, anyone considering separation or divorce or any step-parent, grandparent or person involved in the care of children affected by the parental decision to separate would be benefited by taking the course. Ultimately, the most benefit of focusonthekids.org will be received by the children.
What if the other parent doesn't follow through with the order to take this course?
Answer: In the State of Missouri, and in many other states, each of the parents is required to complete a parent education course. If one or both of the parents fail to complete this requirement, it will be up to the court what sanctions or action will be taken. Each jurisdiction could take specific actions which might include postponement of the court action, refusal to consider the requests of the non-compliant parent, dismissal of the action, contempt of court, etc.
I've been a parent for a number of years. Why do I need a course to tell me how to be a parent now?
Answer: Focusonthekids is a program designed to address specific parenting skills for a specific time. The skills learned here will assist you in helping your children through a particularly problematic time, the break-up of the family. These aren't skills most parents learn in day-to-day life, and it is hoped that focusonthekids will give you new insight into some important issues.
I'm not going through a divorce. Why do I have to take this class?
Answer: While most parents who utilize Focus On The Kids are involved in a divorce, this program doesn't just address the issues of divorce. The primary focus of this program is to provide assistance to parents in addressing the needs of children while involved in a conflictual relationship. Divorce isn't the real issue.
I've been divorced for 10 years. Why do I have to take this class now?
Answer: It is assumed that if you have received notice to complete this program you are involved in some type of court process. While it may have been some time since the original court action, there are obviously still issues that have resulted in problems between the parents, requiring court intervention. This program is designed to address the affects of those problems on the children.
What if I cannot afford to pay the fee for this class?
Answer: Financially eligible parents who reside in the 37th Judicial Circuit (Howell, Oregon, Carter or Shannon Counties,) and who are involved in a court action within those counties, may contact [email protected] or call Diversified Consulting & Mediation, LLC to discuss alternate payment arrangements. Unfortunately, no other assistance is available.
How long does it take to complete this program?
Answer: Most participants are able to complete the basic program in two hours. This program is designed to allow you to pause during the session, return at a more convenient time, and complete the program at your own pace.
This program was very helpful. Why wasn't it required years ago when I first needed this information?
Answer: Focus On The Kids has been available for several years through the Court, however it has only recently been required for all parents. Hopefully the information you receive will prevent future issues for your children.