Cook County Family Court Offering Online Parenting Classes

Good news for parents who are required to take court ordered parenting classes in Cook County – the classes are now available online. Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans and Domestic Relations Division Presiding Judge Grace G. Dickler announced the court is now offering court ordered parenting education classes online through a new interactive program, Children in Between Online (CIBO).

Parents involved in custody issues are required to take the classes in order to ensure they are aware of the effects divorce and custody issues have on children and to help minimize those effects. Some of the topics discussed include long distance parenting, children carrying messages between parents, quizzing children about the other parent and putting down the other parent.

Up until now, the only option for parents were the traditional classroom format, Focus on Children, presented by the court’s Marriage and Family Counseling Service at several court locations. Many times, parents needed to take time off of work or arrange for child care in order to attend the court-ordered classes. The new online classes are available 24 hours per day/7 days per week. The cost of the online course is $39.95 per parent and may be waived at the court’s discretion.

In a statement released by the court, Judge Dicker said, “Our judges and Marriage and Family Counseling Service staff are extremely excited about being able to offer low-conflict litigants an online alternative to Focus on Children. We foresee it having a dramatic impact on the Domestic Relations Division’s parenting education program.”

Even in the best of circumstances, there can still be some contention between divorcing spouses, especially when there are custody decisions to be made. If you are considering divorce, consult with an experienced Cook County family attorney to make sure you and your children’s rights are protected in family court.

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