Putting Children First
Court Mandated Parent Education Program
Putting Children First is a court-mandated parent education class for divorcing parents in Massachusetts approved by the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who must attend? According to court regulation, all parents of children under eighteen years old, filing for divorce must attend the classes.
- Can I attend with my spouse? No. The court approved Parent Education guidelines require that spouses attend separate sessions.
- Do I have to attend both classes? Yes, the state requires a total of five hours of class time within two sessions.
- Who conducts the course? Experienced, state-approved counselors with more than five years licensed counseling and group-training experience.
- What is the purpose of the course? The focus of class time is to understand the effect of divorce on children. The assumptions are that parents want to do a good job raising their kids and that divorce is an unsettling experience for kids and for each of their parents.
- What happens in a class? The class utilizes a variety of approaches including: lecture, discussion, video and small group discussion.
All of the following classes will be held on Wednesdays from 5:00 - 7:30 P.M. Classes are held In North Andover on the Merrimack College campus in the McQuade Library Conference Room. See below for directions to Merrimack College and a map of the campus.
- January 8 & 15
- February 5 & 19
- March 11 & 18
- April 8 & 15 (cancelled at this time due to Merrimack College closing due to COVID-19)
- May 6 & 13
- June 10 & 24
Please make every effort to be on time. Participants must attend the entire two sessions to be eligible for a completion certificate. Click here for a map and directions to the Merrimack College campus located at 315 Turnpike Street (Rte 114) North Andover, MA 01845.
Please do not bring children to class.
Confirmation calls: Feel free to call the receptionist to confirm your place in class. To receive a confirmation call, you must enter a “Confirmation Phone” on the registration form. If you do not leave a confirmation phone you will not receive a confirmation call.
Canceled Classes: A Parent Ed class is canceled if classes at Merrimack College are canceled. Come to the second session.
The cost of a two-session class is $80.00 per person.
Pay by Check
Complete the Parent Education Registration Form and return with a $80.00 payment (There is a $20 fee for processed checks with insufficient funds).
You can register online by using your credit card or your PayPal account. (There is a $15 fee if you request a refund.)
The $80.00 fee is nonrefundable unless two full business days notice is given prior to date/time of class. For example: to cancel a Wednesday 9:30 a.m. class, your cancellation notice must be received before Monday at 9:30 a.m. To cancel call 978-327-6650 and leave a message.