Family Conciliation Court
Dr. John Hope, Director
Address: PO Box 204, Bisbee, AZ 85603
Phone: 520-432-8485, Fax: 520-432-8487
The FAMILY CONCILIATION COURT offers the following services: Parent Information Program, Conciliation Counseling and Mediation. These services are for those parents with minor children involved in the following situations: If the case involves a minor child or children, and is an action for Dissolution of Marriage; Legal Separation; or Paternity with a Request to Determine Custody, Parenting Time or Child Support.
PARENT INFORMATION PROGRAM
Pursuant to ARS §§25-352, both the Petitioner and the Respondent must attend and complete the Domestic Relations Education of Children's Issues Class (Parent Information Program). The Respondent must register for and complete the course whether or not a "Response" or "Answer" to the Petition/Complaint is filed. You do NOT have to attend the class with the other parent. This is not a parenting skills class. The purpose of the Parent Information Program is to educate parents about the impact of divorce and separation on children, the importance of continued involvement of both parents after family restructuring, and the effects of court involvement on the lives of children and families.
Attendance is required.* (ARS §§ 25-352).
ATTENDANCE AT THE PARENT INFORMATION CLASS IS REQUIRED BY LAW AND BY THIS COURT. IF YOU DO NOT ATTEND THE CLASS, THE JUDGE MAY NOT SIGN YOUR PAPERS AND YOU MAY NOT GET THE THINGS YOU ASKED THE COURT TO DO. THE JUDGE MAY ALSO FIND YOU IN CONTEMPT OF COURT. * If you have completed this class and received a Certificate of Completion in the past, you are not required to attend again unless ordered to do so by the judge.
You must sign up and be registered for the class in advance. You should sign up for the class as soon as you can. The cost of the class for each parent is $30.00. When you call to register and choose a class date, you will be instructed to bring a money order payable to "Clerk of the Court" to class on your scheduled class date.
Parent Information Program Registration Form
Parent Information Program Calendar
Who teaches the class? Parent Information instructors are behavioral health professionals such as marriage and family therapists, social workers, and educators with specialty training and advanced degrees in a behavioral science. They have experience helping families address important issues and resolve problems. Instructors are not attorneys, and cannot give you legal advice.
How do I sign up for the class? Call the Family Conciliation Court at 520-432-8485 (TDD 520-432-9297), or click on the link above as soon as you receive notice and ask to register for the Parent Information Program. Classes are offered two Saturday mornings per month, one in Sierra Vista and one in Bisbee, from 7:45 a.m. until noon. Classes are filled on a "first come, first served" basis and we encourage you to attend the class as early as possible after your case is filed. Parents usually elect to attend separately; if this is your desire, please advise us when you call to register. You can also let us know if you need special accommodations due to a disability or language need. YOU MUST BE PRE-REGISTERED TO ATTEND. When you attend, keep in mind that proper attire is required in Courtroom - no shorts or tank tops.
How will the court know I have completed the class? A Certificate of Completion will be issued by the class instructor upon completion of the class. The original Certificate will be filed with the Clerk of the Court, a copy will be given to you, and a copy will be kept on file with the Family Conciliation Court. Please retain your copy in a safe place.
What will be taught?. . .Effective ways to help your child cope with and adjust to separation, divorce and alternating households. . the importance to children of continued relationships and meaningful time with both parents. . . the developmental stages of children, and what to expect from your child depending on his/ her age. . . the often-confusing ways that children may express their feelings about separation and divorce. . . helpful ideas that can make time sharing and parenting plans work better for your children.
Conciliation and mediation services may be accessed by filing a petition with the Clerk of the Court, or by order of the court.
CONCILIATION is counseling that is provided for those couples who wish to explore ways to increase communication, resolve conflicts and, to improve their marital relationship in the future. Many couples find that conciliation can help them to learn to have a better, stronger relationship. Even couples who later decide to separate often find that this counseling helps to ease the tension and conflict associated with divorce. However, conciliation is only an option when both people want to work on the marriage.
MEDIATION is a private, confidential meeting where parents can explore what is best for the children following a separation or divorce. Mediation provides assistance for parents who are not in agreement regarding issues such as custody, residence or parenting time. The goal of the mediation program is to help parents cooperate together in making decisions about how the children will spend time with both parents following divorce. The mediator will help you address each child's needs in productive ways that may help to resolve these parenting issues in the best interest of the children. Mediation can help parents to communicate more effectively, explore new and creative custody and parenting time options, and work together as parents in ways which can reduce children's pain and feelings of loss during and after divorce. Mediation can also help you learn new ways to understand the problems facing children and to effectively protect them from any conflict that may exist between parents during and after divorce. We hope you will recognize that mediation is a chance to set aside your issues with the marriage and the personal difference between parents in order to make positive, beneficial plans for the physical well-being and emotional health of your children. Even in situations where parents have found past communication difficult because of hurt, anger, or confusion, a skilled mediator can help you to communicate together and reach fair agreements for the sake of the children.