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Finding Legal Help

You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help. 

Como encontrar ayuda legal

Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.

Divorce Education for Children

About the Program

Divorce Education for Children

Divorce Education for Children is a voluntary program offered free of charge. Classes are available for children 9 to 12 years old whose parents are separated, divorcing, or divorced. The program provides children with:

  • Communication skills they can use to express their feelings to parents
  • Coping skills and the ability to let go of problems that are beyond their control
  • A class experience that shows they are not alone
  • A strong message that divorce is not their fault

This 2 hour class is taught by mental health professionals with assistance from state court judges and commissioners.

Read about the class from children who have attended and their parents:

"I learned that my parents decide why they want a divorce and I don't need to get caught up in it."

"I learned that the divorce is not my fault."

"My child is more confident in talking about her anger and more able to express her hurt."

*This program compliments therapy, but is not intended to replace it.*

You may register your child for classes in Logan, Ogden, Provo, Salt Lake City, or West Jordan.


Children's Class Dates and Contact Information

Salt Lake City

Scott M. Matheson Courthouse
450 South State
Salt Lake City

Weekday classes are from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
Saturday classes are from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Pre-registration is required.
Pre-Register Online

  • Apr: Mon. 16th
  • Jun: Sat. 2nd
  • Jun: Mon. 11th
  • Jul: Sat. 28th
  • Aug: Mon. 6th
  • Sep: Sat. 29th
  • Oct: Mon. 15th
  • Nov: Sat. 17th
  • Dec: Mon. 3rd
  • Jan 2018: Sat. 26th

Class is taught by: Heidi Molloy, LCSW

Tiffany Thorne, Program Coordinator/Facilitator
(801) 578-3897
dec@utcourts.gov

West Jordan

Third District Court, West Jordan
8080 S. Redwood Rd.
West Jordan

Monday classes are from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Saturday classes are from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Pre-registration is required.
Pre-Register Online

  • Apr: Sat. 28th
  • May: Mon. 7th
  • Jun: Sat. 30th
  • Jul: Mon. 9th
  • Aug: Sat. 25th
  • Sep: Mon. 10th
  • Oct: Sat. 27th
  • Nov: Mon. 5th
  • Dec: Sat. 15th
  • Jan 2018: Mon. 7th

Class is taught by: Heidi Molloy, LCSW

Tiffany Thorne, Program Coordinator/Facilitator
(801) 578-3897
dec@utcourts.gov

Logan

Cache County Courthouse
135 North 100 West
Logan

Classes are on the last Thursday of the month from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Pre-registration is required.
Pre-Register Online

  • Jun: Thurs. 31st
  • Aug: Thurs. 30th
  • Sep: Thurs. 27th
  • Oct: Thurs. 25th
  • Nov: Thurs. 29th
  • Dec: Thurs. 20th

Class is taught by: Gwen Roeda, LSC

Annette Clark, Facilitator
(435) 750-1289
annettec@utcourts.gov

Ogden

Weber County Courthouse
2525 Grant Ave
Ogden

Classes are from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm.

Pre-registration is required.
Pre-Register Online

  • Jun: Thurs. 7th
  • Jul: Thurs. 19th
  • Aug: Thurs. 9th
  • Sep: Thurs. 6th
  • Oct: Thurs. 4th
  • Nov: Thurs. 1st
  • Dec: Thurs. 6th

Class is taught by: Amber Payne, CSW

Robin Storey, Facilitator
(801) 395-1051
robings@utcourts.gov

Provo

4th District Courthouse
125 North 100 West
Provo

Classes are from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Pre-registration is required.
Pre-Register Online

  • Mar: Wed. 21st
  • Apr: Wed. 11th
  • May: Wed. 23rd
  • Jun: Wed. 27th
  • Jul: Wed. 25th
  • Aug: Wed. 22nd
  • Sep: Wed. 26th
  • Oct: Wed. 24th
  • Nov: Wed. 28th
  • Dec: Wed. 12th

Class is taught by: Denhi Cheney, LMFT

Kathy Phillips, Facilitator
(801) 429-1037
kathyhp@utcourts.gov


Philosophy

The Longevity Project¹ (an eight-decade long study) found that children are impacted more negatively by divorce than the death of a parent.

Research shows many children continue to report painful feelings for years following divorce²; this is true even after behavior problems subside. Some children engage in risky behaviors, receive poor grades in school, and struggle with peer relationships during divorce; these are signs that children need help adjusting. Other children, who may appear to be adjusting well, showing no signs of mental stress or trauma, tend to have trouble with relationships, trust, and intimacy later in life. Parents of children going through a divorce can help their child/ren by registering them for Divorce Education for Children.

The Divorce Education for Children Subcommittee is dedicated to providing a safe educational environment where children can learn skills to help them through their parents' separation or divorce. The Divorce Education for Children program is a child-centered program that compliments Divorce Education for Adults. As adults learn to recognize distress in their children and talk to their children about divorce, children who take the Divorce Education for Children class practice coping skills, and how to talk to their parents about how they feel and what they need.

In order for children to express their needs during a divorce is important that they understand their emotions and what is causing them to feel stressed. Our instructors are licensed mental health professionals who help children identify their feelings and empower them to be assertive during a time of ongoing change. Our instructors lead children in a series of activities in a courtroom alongside other children who are also experiencing a separation or divorce in their family. Spending time in a courtroom and speaking with a judge or commissioner also helps children understand that while their parents have many feelings about going to court, they do not need to feel afraid.

Divorce is a major event in the life of a child. Changes from divorce can be traumatic for children, and often causes great physical and emotional stress³. Like adults, children need extra support transitioning through a divorce.

The Divorce Education Subcommittee is happy to offer a way to improve safety and the quality of life for children with our class.

¹The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-decade Study (2011)

²Children's Reactions to Separation and Divorce (2000)

³Offspring of parents who were separated and not speaking to one another have reduced resistance to the common cold as adults (2017)


Frequently Asked Questions


How soon before a class should I tell my child about the divorce?

The first two years of divorce are critical to a child's well-being. However, please, consider your child's emotional state after telling them about a divorce. Some children may be able to attend our class soon after hearing the news, and some children will need more time before they are able to emotionally engage in class activities. Most children will need at least two weeks before attending.

Can my child attend the class if the divorce occurred many years ago?

Yes. We encourage every child who is eligible to attend the class, even children who appear to be adjusting well to their new family dynamics. Very often, the real impact of a divorce will not be apparent until your child has reached young adulthood.

May I attend the class with my child? Why not?

No. We want children in the class to feel comfortable talking openly about divorce, and be able to practice communication skills without their parents present..

My Child is not between ages 9-12. Can they still attend this class?

This is considered on a case-by-case basis. If you feel that your child is developmentally advanced or behind and will mentally fit within ages 9-12, they may be admitted after speaking with a class facilitator. Otherwise, it may not be developmentally appropriate to have your child attend this class.

If you need help for your child, and have not been able to locate resources, please visit your child's school counselor to find out what resources may be available to you.

Do I need to wait for my child at the courthouse? Or is it okay to drop them off?

You are welcome to either wait at the courthouse or drop them off and return at the end of the class.

My child has attended the class and would like to participate again.

Please, contact the class facilitator in your area to determine how best to proceed.


Recommendations

Please, review which mental health professional will be teaching the class in your area. If it is someone you know or someone you have been seeing for services, please contact them to help prepare your child to see them in a different setting. You may also call the class facilitator who can get in touch with the mental health professional for you.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact someone in your area regarding the Divorce Education for Children class.


Adult Divorce Education

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.


Page Last Modified: 8/1/2018
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