The COPE Class

April 28, 2008

Unless excused by the court, parents in Clark County Nevada have 45 days after the filing of a divorce complaint to attend a mandatory COPE (“Helping Children Cope with Divorce”) class.

The class itself costs $40, lasts for about 3 hours, and is usually held at a public library. See Palo Verde Child and Family Services Inc. for more information. You can pre-register or walk in. They take cash or money order and you will need a photo ID to confirm your identity. At the end of the course you will receive a certificate of completion that you can show the court as evidence of completion.

Topics include: 

 

  • How families experience divorce
  • Typical reactions of children
  • Developmental needs of children
  • Skills that help children cope
  • Pitfalls to avoid

In my experience, the seminar gave some nice information on the psychological reactions of children to divorce (at different ages ranging from toddlers to teenagers) and how parents must work together to mitigate the negative effects of divorce.

I specifically pressed the presenter on how to deal with an ex-spouse with borderline personality disorder who is intent on alienating the other parent. Her response was that unless the other parent sees the “big picture” that working together is in the best interest of the child then there is little that can be done. The presenter had no strategies on how to counter parental alienation tactics.

Unfortunately, until the courts start to see parental alientation as a form a child abuse and shared parenting as the norm, children will continue to be psychologically harmed by divorce.

 

 

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