Inside Look at the Parent Education Program for Divorcing Parents in NJ

Going Through A Divorce With Children: New Jersey’s Parent Education Program Can Help You Navigate the Challenges of Co-parenting During and After Divorce.

Inside Look at the Parent Education Program for Divorcing Parents in NJJust like they say a baby doesn’t come with a manual, neither does the journey of co-parenting, unless of course you have the benefit of participating in New Jersey’s Parent Education Program (PEP). The PEP was created by the state of New Jersey to help equip parents with the information and tools they need to navigate co-parenting during and after divorce. The breakdown of a marriage and division of a family unit into two separate homes can be particularly challenging for children and this program aims to minimize the psychological and emotional impact on children and all family members. By teaching parents communication techniques, parental cooperation, and conflict resolution skills, the program helps to support the best interests of the children.

Are There any Exceptions to The Mandatory Attendance Requirement For the NJ Parent Education Program?

Under New Jersey law, N.J.S.A. 2A:34-12.5, participation in the Parent Education Program is required for most parties in a divorce or child custody case. This also applies to any case in which visitation or child support is at issue. The law recognizes that both parents play a critical role in a child’s life and upbringing and how often unprepared parents are to handle the unique challenges of co-parenting.

While this requirement to participate in the PEP applies to most parents involved in divorce or custody cases, there are a few exceptions. For example, if a parent has already completed a similar educational program within the past year, then they may be exempt from attending the PEP. A parent can also request an exemption in cases where attending the program would be impossible or create an undue hardship like severe financial consequences or health issues. The court has discretion to assess these exemption requests based on the individual circumstances of each case.

By completing the program, parents demonstrate to the court that they are committed to prioritizing the child’s best interests and they are willing to cooperate and communicate with their co-parent to achieve that goal. On the other hand, failing to complete the program can potentially have an adverse impact on your court case. Not complying with the requirement without an exemption may signal to the court that the parent is unwilling to cooperate with their co-parent and/or prioritize the best interests of their child.

New Jersey Parent Education Program (PEP): Flexible Options to Fit Your Schedule and Needs

NJ Mandatory Parenting Classes and Options during DivorceThe PEP provides several flexible options to ensure that the program is easily accessible to all parents. Parents can choose to attend the program in person or online, so they can fit the program around their schedules and other obligations. In person sessions give parents the opportunity to interact with other parents who are going through similar situations and therefore provides a feeling of community along with information and tools shared. These sessions take place at designated locations across New Jersey.

The online option provides a way for parents to attend sessions from the comfort of their home. While some portion of the community aspect may be lacking in this format, parents are often juggling work, child rearing, and a myriad of other obligations, making the online sessions a much more convenient and realistic option for many.

The cost of the program will vary depending on the provider and whether the sessions are in person or online. Some programs may offer financial aid or reduced pricing for those who demonstrate a financial need.

PEP Topics: Equipping You to Navigate Co-Parenting After Divorce in NJ

The PEP covers a wide range of topics relevant to parents who are navigating co-parenting and parenting children through divorce, new schools, new homes, and all of the emotionally challenging effects of divorce on children. The program covers the legal process of divorce, child custody, visitation, and child support. It also includes material on maintaining a child-focused approach, improving communication between parents, and tips for managing conflict. A child-focused approach means making the child’s well being and best interests the top priority in your co-parenting approach and this is aided by cooperation between the child’s parents.

Contact Our New Jersey Family Lawyers for Questions and Guidance on the Parenting Education Requirements During Divorce in Passaic County and North Jersey

An experienced family law attorney at Montanari Law Group can provide invaluable guidance to parents who are not only navigating the court system, but are also facing many new challenges in their personal lives including learning to co-parent effectively and cooperatively. While you focus on your shifting parenthood journey, our dedicated lawyers will handle every aspect of your court case to serve your best interests and the best interests of your child. If you believe that you qualify for an exemption to the requirement to participate in the Parent Education Program, our attorneys can also help you to submit a persuasive request to the court.

Contact our local office in Passaic County for parenting education program guidance and help navigating the process of divorce and custody matters throughout Ridgewood, Millburn, Hawthorne, Caldwell, Woodland Park, Montclair, Verona, Haledon, Franklin Lakes, and towns across Northern New Jersey. We can provide you with answers and legal advocacy when you need it most. The consultation is free, so do not hesitate to call (973) 233-4396  or contact us online to learn more.


To speak with one of our highly knowledgeable attorneys, contact us today at (973)-233-4396 or toll-free at (888)-877-7985. You can also complete the form below to begin your conversation. We are a personalized, boutique-style law firm that offers free initial consultations and flexible appointment options.