There are many resources and support systems for those that want to get married. Counselors, religious leaders and of course family and friends. Unfortunately, many marriages end in divorce and many of those marriages involve children.
Those who have never gone through divorce may not know that it is required both of the father and mother to go through court ordered counseling to educate parents on the best ways to raise children after the divorce. Most parents, you'd think, would want to place the kids first and create a "team" with the other parent to make the child feel comfortable and secure. But, unfortunately divorce can often be stressful and emotional, leaving the child as the closest target to parental frustration and anger. That is where these programs developed by the court play an important role. More importantly, a recent development in the court system, driven by Prescott's own Heather Seets, Mediation Coordinator of the Yavapai County Superior Court and a team of professionals including Presiding Judge of Yavapai County Superior Court, the Honorable David Mackey, has improved these educational programs.
Seets and her team, based right here in the Yavapai County Court House in downtown Prescott, AZ., developed two educational videos, English and Spanish versions, which can be used by the courts and parents throughout all of Yavapai County. From what we understand, these videos are a first for Yavapai County and the Superior Court system. They have condensed the 6-hour online text version of the program into a 2-hour video format, making it easier for parents to review and learn from the material. Additionally, by producing a Spanish language version, the Court system will save money on not having to provide interpreters to non-English speaking/reading participants.
“The Yavapai County Parent Education Program has been one of the best programs in the State of Arizona for many years. It is six hours long and covers the legal aspects of a dissolution of marriage as well as the emotional impacts on parents, and most importantly, their children. I felt it would be a great idea to share this amazing resource with the rest of Arizona, so we recorded a video that condenses all of the information taught in our live class down to a two hour video. The live class is still required for all parties going through a divorce in Yavapai County, but now there are options if folks live out of state. The video is also available in Spanish for folks who normally would have required a Spanish interpreter for the six hour class. This video will save the county money by not having to pay an interpreter and the Spanish speaking participants will have a better experience using the video.
I wanted to write the script for the video in such a way that it could be used throughout the State of Arizona. So in addition to the many uses for the video here in Yavapai County, the video will also be gifted to the other 14 counties in Arizona to use as they see fit. Some counties do not have the same luxury that Yavapai has had to have multiple teachers available to teach this course, or a location to serve the numbers of people who need to take the class. Now they will have an option to provide this course instead via DVD or online.
It’s been an amazing project and I’ve had a lot of support from our Superior Court Bench, Alternative Dispute Resolution Services and Court Administration. Bryan Matuskey and AZ Event Video did an amazing job filming this project. It’s been a great success!” - Heather Seets, Mediation Coordinator, Superior Court in Yavapai County
"Arizona law requires that everyone who has children and petitions for dissolution of their marriage participate in an approved Parent Education Program. Yavapai County has long had a very successful Parent Education Program which is taught live by a number of experienced individuals. Unfortunately, demand for the program continues to increase and the cost for live classes as well as need for qualified faculty for those live classes continues to be a challenge. Heather Seets came to me with the idea to produce a video so that parents could access the class on-line, classes would not have to be cancelled if instructors were not available and a Spanish version could be produced. Ms. Seets worked very hard on this project to bring her vision to a reality.
Based upon Ms. Seets efforts, I will presenting her English and Spanish videos to the Presiding Judges for all Superior Courts in Arizona. I believe a number of the Counties that do not have regular Parent Education Classes available will find the videos produced by Ms. Seets to be beneficial to the parents who are going through divorces in their Courts. I also believe that parents throughout Arizona will now have an on-line version of the class to view that includes all the content required by Arizona law. That is a substantial benefit to people in rural communities who might otherwise have to travel a significant distance to participate in a live class. The Spanish version of the video will benefit people statewide who could not otherwise participate in an English version of the class. Finally, the script will be made available to other Court leaders who might find it helpful to have interpreters dub the video in another language.
Ms. Seets hard work is just one of the many efforts the Superior Courts in Arizona are undertaking to support our Chief Justice Scott Bales’ strategic agenda of providing access to justice to everyone." - Presiding Judge David L. Mackey, Yavapai County Superior Court.
Find out more: