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It is now possible to take court-ordered parenting classes online in Cook County, reports the Chicago Tribune. Cook County Circuit Court started the program on November 13. According to the Illinois law, judges have to in most divorce cases order parents with underage children to take a parenting education course. Before the launch of the program, the parenting course was only offered in a traditional classroom setting. Similar programs are already in use, for example, in DuPage and Kane counties.

The purpose of the program, which is called Children in Between Online, is to address the effects of divorce and separation on children. Thanks to the program, parents will no longer miss work to attend a parenting class. Parenting education is an important way to "help families going through child custody proceedings to achieve positive outcomes,” according to Chief Judge Timothy Evans.

The online program helps parents and children to learn skills that changes the way they interact.

Illinois residents may be interested to know about an innovative program that law enforcement officials have developed just to their north in one Wisconsin county. All too often, the exchanges of children between divorced or separated parents for visitation purposes can become heated, bitter exchanges, particularly when the parties currently are embroiled in a heated custody battle or other court proceedings. As a result, the local police station is often the suggested meeting place to exchange the children for each parent’s designated visitation time, with the hope that a public place with law enforcement authorities present will both give the parents a sense of security and help calm the situation. Nonetheless, this strategy doesn’t always work to defuse the situation.

In Brown County, Wisconsin, the Sheriff’s Department decided to designate two parking spaces in their parking lot, on either side of a neutral zone, where parents can safely and easily exchange their children at the appropriate times. The children can move from one car to the other without fear of encountering traffic or the roadway, and all visitation exchanges take place under video surveillance by the Sheriff’s Department, a factor which may compel parents to act more reasonably during the exchanges. If this new program proves successful, the Sheriff’s Department hopes to offer an additional visitation exchange spot on the west side of Brown County, as well.

Unfortunately, contentious custody or visitation proceedings can make visitation exchanges a stressful occurrence for all parties involved, but particularly for the children who are the subjects of the proceedings. Innovative visitation exchange points may help remedy these situations and make them easier for everyone.

Posted on in Child Custody and Support

It is anything but uncommon to get married to someone who does not share your religious views. In case of a divorce, this can lead to serious disputes. Interfaith marriages are becoming more and more common, and divorce rates are not declining, so this is an issue worth mentioning.

There has been a lot of talk about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes getting a divorce. Most people know that Tom Cruise is a scientologist, which brings us back to our religion discussion.

Globalgrind reported a follow-up story on the Cruise-Holmes divorce, saying Suri and Katie are leaving scientology behind. According to the story, Katie has enrolled Suri in a private Catholic school, regardless of Tom's plans of Suri going to a scientology school. Surprisingly, Tom and Katie reached a settlement quickly, putting Suri's future above their own differences.

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