Advancing Co-parenting Education: Toward a Foundation for Supporting Positive Post-Divorce Adjustment
The nature and quality of parents’ post-divorce relationships are linked with children’s emotional and behavioral wellbeing. As such, many states require that divorcing parents participate in coparenting education designed to decrease parental conflict and increase cooperation; yet, few of these courses are rigorously evaluated. A new program entitled Successful Co-parenting After Divorce (coparenting.fsu.edu) was created to be a freely accessible, online divorce education program for parents of minor children. The program was launched in Florida, but is available nationally for parents, as well as social workers, mental health professionals, and lawyers who assist parents during the divorce process. Description of the training, including innovations in the use of video and technology is provided. An evaluation plan, which includes assessment of co-parenting attitudes and behaviors, mental health symptomology, and childhood trauma is detailed. Future directions for the implementation of the program are discussed. In addition, description of a new measure to assess post-divorce co-parenting behaviors is provided.