COPE: A Parenting Seminar

The family disruption resulting from separation and divorce is difficult -- both for adults and children. How parents handle their family restructuring makes a big difference in how their children respond to the situation. There are many positive actions parents can take to increase their child’s security and acceptance of the family changes.

Find a Seminar

Since 1992, The COPE program has been equipping parents with insights, information, practical tips and tools to make their job as parents easier, more rewarding and -- most importantly -- more influential on their children’s successful adjustment to changes in their family life.

Seminars Cover:

  • How children experience divorce and other family transitions
  • Development needs of children
  • Effective parenting
  • Pitfalls to avoid
  • Communication between parents
  • Protecting children from adult conflict

Who Should Attend?

Parents with minor children involved in divorce, establishment of parentage, separation, dissolution of civil unions, and changes in parental rights and responsibilities, are required by Vermont Court Judges to attend the seminar.

Family and friends supporting an involved parent, professionals who work with families going through family transitions, college students, and others from the community may attend when registered in the same manner as parents. The program content is not appropriate for children.

  • Seminar Registration

    COPE seminars are held at local County Courts and cost $79 (per participant) to attend.

    • If you prefer to take the class separate from your child’s other parent please contact the court where your case is filed to discuss this request.
    • To request a disability-related accommodation and/or foreign language interpreter for this program, please notify the court where your case is filed at least three weeks before the class date in order to make appropriate arrangements.
    • To request a reduced rate, download, fill out, and submit the court's Application for a Reduced Fee Form (pdf).



    After attending the full four-hour session, the instructors will confirm your attendance with the court. A certificate of your attendance is available from the instructors by request.


    • Questions about seminar content or instructors: call UVM Extension at 802-751-8307 or 1-800-545-8920 (toll-free in Vt.)
    • Questions regarding your registration: contact the UVM Non-Credit Registration office at 802-656-8407 or
    • Refer to the Family Division Court Information website for addresses and additional court contact information.

Upcoming Seminars (2021)

All sessions take place online. Your COPE class meeting link will be emailed to you the day before your scheduled class


Wednesday, September 22
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Friday, September 24
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.


Tuesday, October 5
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 13
12:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Monday, October 18
4:30 -8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 19
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 20
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Friday, October 29
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.


Parent Handbook

Accompanies the COPE Seminar and focuses on understanding family changes from your child's point of view:

  • communicating with your child and with your child's other parent
  • restructuring your family
  • resources for you
  • children's activities.

PDF iconDownload the Handbook (pdf)

Resources For Parents