This class teaches parents about:
•Children’s developmental stages and what divorce and separation means to them at different ages;
•The emotional impact of divorce and separation on children;
•The difference between “normal” grief reactions and behaviors parents should be more concerned about, with accompanying resources for parents and children;
•How children are impacted by the ways the parents act towards each other;
•Effective strategies for better co-parenting during and after divorce or family separation;
•Custody, parenting time, and shared parenting plans;
•Mediation and conflict resolution.
Is the class mandatory?
Yes, if: 1) you are party to an annulment, dissolution (divorce), legal separation, custody or visitation action, or post-decree litigation involving custody or visitation, AND 2) children under the age of 18 are involved.
When are classes held?
The classes occur every Wednesday evening. Classes usually fill one week in advance. We do not maintain a waiting list.
How long is the class?
Focus on Children is a one-time, three-hour class held on Wednesday evenings from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. You must attend the entire class to earn the Certificate of Attendance.
Is childcare provided?
No, childcare is not provided during the class. Please make alternate arrangements for your children.
How many people are in the class?
The class average is 35 people.
Who teaches the class?
The class is taught by a Family Mediation staff member who is knowledgeable and experienced in the types of issues that arise when children are involved in divorce and separation.
Where is the class held?
Lane County Health & Human Services building located at 151 W. 7th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Room 258, located on the NE corner of 7th & Charnelton.
When do I register?
Generally, you can register before or after you have filed for your legal action. However, once either parent has filed with the court, petitioners must register within 15 days of filing and respondents must register within 15 days of being served.
How do I register for a class?
You may register online by clicking here.
If you would like to register by mail, print the registration form and mail it along with full payment. Your registration will not be processed without full payment.
Registration closes at 8:00 a.m. the day before class. We do not have a waiting list.
How much does the class cost?
The class costs $60 per person, nonrefundable. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required. If you do not attend the class for which you registered, you will need to re-register and pay another $60 to attend class on another date.
Are fee waivers for this class available?
Fee waivers are only if a fee waiver (not deferral) from the Lane County Circuit Court was granted when you filed your paperwork with the court. To request a fee waiver for Focus on Children, complete this form.
The fee waiver is valid only for one class registration per court action. If you do not attend the class for which you registered, you must pay the $60 class fee in full to attend on a later date.
(Lane County Family Mediation no longer accepts requests for reduced fees based on SNAP benefits.)
What if I have to cancel, reschedule, or did not show for the class I registered for?
You will have to re-register and pay another $60 to attend class on another date.
Where do I find parking?
Parking is available on the north side of the building. Although the sign says parking is limited to two-hours, the lot is not monitored after 6:00pm.
Do I have to take the class if I have taken it before?
Yes, with one exception: If you have taken the class within the past 90 days, contact our office by email to apply for a waiver of attendance.
May I attend the same class as the other parent?
No, we do not allow parents to take the class together: 1) years of experience have shown us that parents often don’t feel comfortable asking a question or raising a concern about a child in front of the other parent; and 2) parents are not as willing to engage in group work with others in the class when the other parent is present.
Are the services confidential?
No, participation in Focus on Children is a matter of public record and is therefore not protected by confidentiality. However, in the interest of client safety, Family Mediation will not provide attendance details to anyone prior to your class date.
How will the Court know I have attended?
If you have a current court action at the time you registered for the class, Family Mediation will provide a Certificate of Completion directly to the Court. If you do not have a current court action at the time of registration, Family Mediation will give the certificate to you at the end of the class and you are responsible for filing the certificate with the Court.
Can I smoke in the building?
No, smoking is not permitted in or around the building. Participants are not allowed to leave the building, so do not plan to smoke during breaks.
Do I need to bring anything?
Bring a sweater or other layered clothing. You may also wish to bring a beverage and snack. You must stay on the second floor during breaks, so be sure to bring everything you need with you when you arrive for class. If you leave the second floor for any reason, you will not be able to return to class.
How do I access free mediation services?
The first step is for each parent to take the Focus on Children class. After you and the other parent attend the class, we will schedule a mediation appointment for you.
I live more than 100 miles from Eugene. Do I need to travel to take the class?
No, if you live more than 100 miles from Eugene, email Family Mediation to receive approved alternatives and instructions. If you live within 100 miles of Eugene, you need to take the Focus on Children class.
How do I contact Family Mediation staff with additional questions?
You may email us with additional questions. Click here.