Understanding The Child Impact Seminar in Divorce

The filing of a family court action relating to minor children, such as a parenting petition or a petition for divorce, triggers several deadlines and obligations. One such obligation, applicable to all parents of minor children, is attendance at a “Child Impact Seminar.”

The Child Impact Seminar is a mandatory, four-hour, group educational presentation. The program is offered by experienced professional counselors to large groups of parents.  The seminar is designed to increase parents’ understanding of how parental conflict negatively impacts children.  The course offers tips to help children through the separation and divorce process, resolve conflict and effectively co-parent.  It is not case-specific and is usually held at a location other than the court.

Parties can schedule attendance at the seminar at their convenience, but attendance is mandatory. Courts are reluctant to waive the requirement of attendance at a Child Impact Seminar.  Parents of minor children are statutorily required to attend the Child Impact Seminar and parents who do not complete the seminar may be found in contempt of court.

Due to the high volume of cases involving minor children, the Child Impact Seminar is offered frequently at locations throughout the State. As required by law, at least two seminars are available in each county each month.  Seminars are often available during evening or weekend hours.  The seminar may be scheduled in one or two sessions and parents may attend separately or together.  In many cases, it is useful for parents to hear the same information about parenting and the family court process at the same time. Most jurisdictions allow co-parents to register for the same seminar, but some do not.

Due to the non-legal nature of the Child Impact Seminar, parties attend without counsel. Once an action is filed, parents should register as soon as possible for the seminar.  At the very least, parties should register to attend the Child Impact Seminar before the date of the First Appearance and within 45 days from the date that the non-filing party was served with notice of the action.

For further information about the Child Impact Seminar, including a list of seminar providers, click here: https://www.courts.state.nh.us/forms/nhjb-2068-f.pdf


About the Author: Margaret Kerouac https://orr-reno.com/our-people/margaret-r-kerouac/



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