Location: Montgomery County Circuit Court
Grand Jury Room (Day)
Jury Lounge (Evening)
Phone: (240) 777-9065
Hours:10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. (Day Sessions)
5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.(Evening Sessions)
The Family Division Services of Montgomery County Circuit Court is committed to helping families experiencing separation and divorce develop positive working relationships for the benefit of their children. In order to help separating and divorcing parents proceed through the difficult process, the court has developed an in-house co-parenting skills enhancement program. The program, called the P.E.A.C.E. (Parent Education and Custody Effectiveness) Program of Montgomery County, Maryland, was developed based on the original P.E.A.C.E. Program from New York. With their permission, the court has modified the program to meet the needs of Montgomery County residents. The program consists of two 3-hour consecutive sessions. Currently, day-time classes (10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) are offered quarterly and take place in the Grand Jury Room and evening classes (5:30 – 8:30 p.m.) are offered three times every month in the Jury Lounge free of charge for the parents who received a court order to participate in the program.
The following sections provide a brief description of the program:
- What is the P.E.A.C.E. Program?
- Who is eligible to attend the classes?
- How many classes must I attend?
- Do both parents attend the same classes?
- Is there a cost for the program?
- What is the focus of the program?
- What are the benefits of P.E.A.C.E.?
- Are classes available in more than one language?
- Who teaches the classes?
- Where are the classes held?
- Program Schedule
P.E.A.C.E. (Parent Education and Custody Effectiveness) Program of Montgomery County is an educational program for divorcing and separating parents that have a family case in the Circuit Court. Its goal is to provide parents with an opportunity to learn about problems that their children may experience as a result of divorce/separation and associated parental conflicts. The program also offers parents an opportunity to learn the necessary skills to keep their children out of family conflicts and helps them acquire new parental skills necessary for rearing children between separate households. With these skills in hand, parents can help their children make a healthy adjustment in a new situation where their parents no longer live together. Learning these skills also helps parents diminish anxiety about the possibility of being graded or tested as a basis for obtaining custody/access . The program encourages parents to assume responsibility for creating a post divorce/separation environment in which their children are their first priority.
Anyone who is ordered by a Family Magistrate of Montgomery County Circuit Court to attend Co-Parenting Skills Enhancement Sessions is eligible. Additionally, Montgomery County residents who have been ordered by another Circuit Court to attend parenting classes may also attend the program. Children are not permitted in the Co-Parenting Skills Enhancement Sessions.
Each parent must attend two consecutive classes. Each class is three hours in length.
No. Each parent is scheduled to attend at different dates and times.
No. The program is free of charge.
The classes focus primarily on the following three topics:
- The effects of divorce and separation on adults;
- The effects of divorce and separation on children and how parents can help them cope with this transition in their lives; and
- Promoting effective communication between parents.
Trying to establish a new way of life is a difficult task for any parent. The P.E.A.C.E. Program helps create effective co-parenting by:
- Providing parents with helpful information about the court system, their own and their children’s responses to divorce/separation, and how to alleviate resulting problems with the help of community resources.
- Assisting parents to develop skills promoting healthy adjustment by their children.
- Reminding parents that their children’s needs are primary.
- Encouraging parents to develop a workable post-divorce or -separation parenting plan rather than having the court impose one on them.
- Noting the impact that divorce has on children of different ages.
- Teaching parents new communication skills.
- Suggesting new methods for conflict resolution.
Yes. Beginning in October 2003, all co-parenting sessions were made available in Spanish. Using a radio transmitter and headphones, an interpreter provides near simultaneous interpretation of the sessions with minimal disruption. A Spanish language guide to the co-parenting order is generated automatically, when a party requests a Spanish interpreter. The P.E.A.C.E. manual is also available in Spanish.
Translation services of the next nine most common languages spoken by Montgomery County residents are scheduled, as are services for other languages for which a qualified translator can be located. A second transmitter is available allowing up to two languages to be interpreted in any session, along with American Sign Language.
Number of Co-Parenting Sessions with language interpretation Data:Number of Co-Parenting Sessions with language interpretation
The Court Evaluators lead the Co-Parenting Skills Enhancement Sessions. Evaluators are licensed Social Workers who possess all requisite training credentials in social work and mental health to offer a comprehensive co-parenting program.
Day-time sessions are held in the Grand Jury room and evening sessions are held in the Jury Lounge, both located on the fourth floor of the Montgomery County Circuit Court, 50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland.You must arrive on time, as late comers will not be admitted to the class.
Direction and Parking: directions to the Montgomery County Circuit Court/Montgomery County Circuit Court.
The P.E.A.C.E. Program is offered in two consecutive 3-hour evening sessions from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., three times a month. Day-time sessions (from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) are also available quarterly.
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50 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM