Virginia's Judicial System


Parent Education

About

Virginia Code Sections 16.1-278.15 and 20-103, as amended, state that the parties to any petition where a child whose custody, visitation or support is contested shall show proof that they have attended within the 12 months prior to their court appearance or that they shall attend within 45 days thereafter an educational seminar or other like program conducted by a qualified person or organization approved by the court.  The court may require the parties to attend such seminar or program in uncontested cases only if the court finds good cause.  The seminar or other program shall be a minimum of 4 hours in length and shall address the effects of separation or divorce on children, parenting responsibilities, options for conflict resolution and financial responsibilities.  Once a party has completed one educational seminar or other like program, the required completion of additional programs shall be at the court’s discretion. Parties under this section shall include natural or adoptive parents of the child, or any person with a legitimate interest as defined in Section 20-124.1.

The fee charged per party for participation in such program shall be based on the party’s ability to pay; however, no fee in excess of $50 may be charged.  Whenever possible, before participating in mediation or alternative dispute resolution to address custody, visitation or support, each party shall have attended the educational seminar or other like program.  The court may grant an exemption from attendance of such program for good cause shown or if there is no program reasonably available.

Contact Information

  • Director - Paul F. DeLosh
  • Dispute Resolution Services Manager - Sally P. Campbell
    Phone - (804) 786-6455

Frequently Asked Questions About Mandated Parent Education Seminars

Find a Parent Education Seminar
Your Order of Referral should indicate whether your case is in Circuit Court or Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court:

Once you identify a parent education seminar provider in your area, contact the individual seminar providers for times, dates and locations of their seminars.

Information for Providers

Resources and Reference Materials