The end of a marriage can be an emotionally trying time, even for well-adjusted adults. It’s no surprise, then, that its effect on children can be magnified, considering their less-developed emotional and intellectual capabilities. There are, however, a couple ways divorcing couples with kids can help with the transition. One is to attempt to ensure that the split is handled as amicably as possible, and any disagreements are kept out of the sight and earshot of the children. Another is actually required by the Fulton County family courts, and it is called the ‘Families in Transition Seminar.’
FIT is a four-hour course that is required of anyone engaged in a divorce, custody, paternity or other family-related action, if there are minors involved. It is run by counselors and therapists, and must be taken within 30 days of a court order regarding the seminar being served on the defendant in the case. Parties will generally need to show a proof of attendance to the judge at the final divorce or other family law hearing, and such paperwork will be awarded only upon attendance of the entire course. There may also be an option to take the course on-line.
The FIT seminar is meant to help with basic problems that tend to crop up when people with children split up. It covers basics of child development, what kids’ expectations generally are at different ages and some signs of stress they might exhibit and how to manage the stages of grief that children go through when the family unit dissolves. It also focuses on the adults in the relationship and how they can deal with their changing familial roles, how they might be able to manage conflict and come to proper resolutions and cover what their financial obligations are with regard to the children.
People involved in the family courts are aware of the emotional and financial stress that couples undergo during a divorce, and programs like the FIT seminar are meant to help parents in their transition from a couple to single mothers and fathers. Another way to reduce such stress is to be aware of how the process works, and know what one’s legal options and expected outcomes may be. For this, Atlanta-area residents may wish to consider seeking the advice of an experienced Georgia attorney.