COPE - Learning about family transitions from the child's perspective

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.

About COPE

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 Dates

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

September 2023

Friday, September 8
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 20
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 21
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 26
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

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

October 2023

Monday, October 2
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 10
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 12
4:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 18*
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
*This class will be held in person at the Costello Courthouse, 32 Cherry Street, Burlington, VT

Wednesday, October 25
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Friday, October 27
9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.




All sessions take place online. The cost to attend is $79 per person. A separate registration is required for each participant.

  • To request language interpretation/translation assistance and/or a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the COPE Program at 802-656-7600 or 1-800-545-8920, or email, 3 weeks before your class date so we may assist you.
  • To request a reduced rate, download, fill out, and submit the court's Application for a Reduced Fee Form (PDF) to the court clerk where your case is filed.



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 802-656-7600 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.


UVM Extension Family and Wellness

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.

Download the Handbook (PDF)

Resources For Parents