We recognize that you may have come to the Court for different reasons. Many of you are seeking a divorce. Others are seeking help in changing your parenting responsibilities in order to be a better parent for your children. While the details of each of your concerns are different, you are all seeking the same things -- a better life for you and your children.
Children always suffer some confusion and disruption in their lives as a result of divorce or a modification in custody arrangements. This confusion and disruption is best handled by caring parents, since parents are usually better able to take into account their children's individual differences and needs in making the decisions which affect them. If parents do not agree on support, visitation, custody, or other important parenting questions, then a Judge must make those decisions. As judges we care about children, but we have found that the best decisions are made when the family is not surrounded by the adversarial nature of court proceedings. Although Idaho law still requires the Judge to review the agreement of parents, we have found most parents try hard to act in the best interests of their children.
The experts who testify in court have repeatedly told us that children deal best with divorce when they are not caught in, or become the object of, their parents' disputes. The Parenting Workshop that you will attend will give you information on your children's needs, cooperative parenting, on counseling and mediation resources in the area, and on other ways to solve parental and family problems more peaceably. The goal of the Workshop is to help you avoid expensive courtroom custody hearings and other long and painful battles, both during and after your divorce.
The Workshop is not intended to bring you and your spouse back together again, and it will not give you legal advice or assistance. Instead the Workshop is intended to give you the knowledge and tools to help you solve the particular problems you face. We hope it will help make the difficulties of raising children from two different households more bearable for you as parents, and less painful for your children.
The Magistrate Judges of