Children in Common: Ensuring the Emotional Well-being of Children When Parenting Apart

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Children in Common: Ensuring the Emotional Well-being of Children When Parenting Apart

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St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension, Children, Youth and Family Consortium




Despite the growing literature on coparenting and divorce education interventions, little has been written about the practice of delivering courtmandated parent education programs for both divorced and unmarried parents living apart. Through its sustained investment in supporting Minnesota families affected by divorce or separation with its Parents Forever™1 parent education program and its partnership with Hennepin County’s Co-parent Court2 project, University of Minnesota Extension is able to explore the intersection of research about coparenting with the practice of court-mandated parent education programs for both divorcing and separating nevermarried parents. Thus, this article summarizes the latest research findings on selected coparenting issues that have practical importance to both divorcing and nevermarried parents living apart. This article also highlights recent research on the practice of parent education as it affects both divorcing and separated never-married parents, as well as a foundational discussion of coparenting issues and parent-education practice from the experiences and perspectives of parent-education stakeholders. We, the authors, also have included illustrative quotations from stakeholders in the Parents Forever™ program and in Hennepin County Coparent Court — quotations cited in recent studies of the Parents Forever™ program (PF) (Olson, Brady & Marzcak, 2012) and Co-parent Court (CPC) (Hardman, Ruhland & Becher, 2014).


This archival publication may not reflect current scientific knowledge or recommendations. Current information available from the University of Minnesota Extension:

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McCann, Ellie; Olson, Kjersti; Hall, Eugene; Giles, Maisha; Onell, Stephen; McCullough, Rose; McGuire, Jenifer; Michaels, Cari. (2015). Children in Common: Ensuring the Emotional Well-being of Children When Parenting Apart. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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