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.
- Director - Paul F. DeLosh
- Dispute Resolution Services Manager - Sally P. Campbell
Phone - (804) 786-6455
Find a Parent Education Seminar
Your Order of Referral should indicate whether
your case is in Circuit Court or Juvenile & Domestic Relations
- How Do I Become a Parent Education Provider?
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- In the Best Interest of the Child: What Parents Can Do
Parent involvement for noncustodial parents, created by Fairfax County Public Schools
- Informational Videos
Produced in 2010 by the Virginia State Bar Family Law Section through a generous grant from the Virginia Law Foundation, this video gives parents a foundation for navigating separation without creating undue strain on children. Video is available in English and Spanish.
- Spare the Child
- Virginia Code Requirements for Mandated Parent Education Seminars