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 $75 (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 1-800-545-8920 (toll-free in Vermont).
    • Questions regarding your registration or cancellations due to weather conditions: call the county court where you registered or the county court where you will be taking the class.
    • Refer to the Family Division Court Information website for addresses and additional court contact information.

Upcoming 2019 and 2020 Seminars

*Tuesday, August 4th

*Wednesday, August 5th

*Tuesday, August 11th

*Wednesday, August 12th

*Tuesday, August 18th

*Friday, August 28th

*These sessions will take place online


Addison County | Middlebury Court | (802) 388-7741
7 Mahady Court, Middlebury VT 05753 | map


Bennington County | Bennington Court | (802) 447-2727
200 Veterans Memorial Drive, Bennington VT 05201 | map


Caledonia County | St. Johnsbury Court | (802) 748-6600
1126 Main Street (Suite 1), St Johnsbury VT 05819 | map


Chittenden County | Burlington Court | (802) 651-1709
32 Cherry Street (Champlain Room on the 3rd floor), Burlington VT 05401 | map


Essex County | Guildhall Court | (802) 676-3910
75 Courthouse Drive, Guildhall VT 05905 | map


Franklin County | St. Albans Court | (802) 524-7997
36 Lake Street, St Albans VT 05478 | map


Grand Isle County | North Hero Court | (802) 372-8350
3677 US-2, North Hero, VT 05474 | map


Lamoille County | Hyde Park Court | (802) 888-3887
154 Main Street, Hyde Park, VT 05655 | map


Orange County | Chelsea Court | (802) 685-4610
5 Court Street, Chelsea VT 05038 | map


Orleans County | Newport Court | (802) 334-3305
217 Main Street, Newport VT 05855 | map


Rutland County | Rutland Court | (802) 786-5856
9 Merchants Row, Rutland VT 05701 | map


Washington County | Barre Court | (802) 479-4205
255 North Main Street, Barre VT 05641 | map


Windham County | Brattleboro Court | (802) 257-2800
30 Putney Road (2nd floor), Brattleboro VT 05301 | map


Windsor County | White River Junction Court | (802) 295-8865
82 Railroad Row, White River Junction VT 05001 | map


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