In Santa Barbara County, parents are required to take the PEACE Class before attending child custody Mediation. The PEACE Class is an online co-parenting program that is designed to educate parents about the mediation process, emotional issues, children’s needs, and communication in regards to co-parenting.The PEACE Class takes a minimum of 2 hours to complete. While taking the program, you will read and listen to each section. Upon completion of each section you take the quiz and then click on a link to continue. At the end of the course, you will receive a "Verification of Attendance Certificate" to file with the court prior to attending mediation. Be sure to provide your name and case number in order to receive credit for taking the course.
The PEACE Class covers the emotions and the stages of grief and loss. These emotions and stages will look different for the children than they will for the parents. Children’s biggest fears during a divorce are: “Where will I live?”, “Will there be changes in my routine?”, “Will I have to choose one parent or be separated from my siblings?”, “Will one or both of my parents stop loving and wanting me?”, and “Is this my fault?”. The best way for a parent to support children during the divorce process is to acknowledge their feelings and explain that it is not their fault. Also, avoid placing blame on anyone, even the other parent, will benefit the children greatly.
The PEACE class also teaches parents about creating a parenting plan. A parenting plan will include factors such as physical custody and legal custody, obligations for financial support, communication between parents, and even creating a plan for resolving disputes. A parenting plan is also referred to as a “custody and visitation agreement.” During mediation, the parents will work with the mediator to create the parenting plan.
There Are 3 Purposes of Mediation:
- To reduce conflict between parents.
- To develop an agreement ensuring the child’s close and continuing contact with both parents.
- To reach a settlement regarding visitation rights that are in the best interest of the child.
If you have questions about the PEACE Class or mediation, contact Morales Law at (805)-422-7966 or at www.mysantabarbaralawyer.com. THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. We are Santa Barbara Divorce Lawyers. Factual circumstances will vary and require specific procedures. This is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on prior to, or in place of, consulting with legal counsel.