Virginia's Judicial System

Parent Education


Virginia Code Sections 16.1-278.15 and 20-103, as amended, require parties in cases where the custody, visitation, or support of a child is contested to show proof that they have recently attended (or soon will attend) an educational seminar conducted by a qualified person or organization approved by the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES). Parties under this section shall include natural or adoptive parents of the child, or any person with a legitimate interest as defined in Section 20-124.1.

These seminars, called “Parent Education Seminars” or “Co-parenting Seminars”, discuss the effects of separation or divorce on children, parenting responsibilities, options for conflict resolution, and financial responsibilities. 

Dispute Resolution Services (OES-DRS) oversees the approval of Parent Education Seminars for courts in Virginia, and ensures their compliance with the governing Virginia Code Sections and best practices described in the Model Parent Education Curriculum Committee as presented in House Document 26 (2000). In addition, OES-DRS manages the online directories of approved Parent Education Providers and provides support to the courts, the public, and seminar providers and instructors regarding Parent Education programs across the Commonwealth.

Contact Information
alert To register for a seminar see the "Find a Parent Education Seminar" section below.

  • Director - Paul F. DeLosh
  • Dispute Resolution Services Manager - Dan Wassink
    Phone - (804) 786-6455

Frequently Asked Questions About Mandated Parent Education Seminars

Find a Parent Education Seminar
Please contact a provider from one of the lists below to register for a seminar. Once you identify a parent education seminar provider in your area, contact the individual seminar providers for times, dates and locations of their seminars.

Information for Providers

Resources and Reference Materials

  • In the Best Interest of the Child: What Parents Can Do
    Parent involvement for noncustodial parents, created by Fairfax County Public Schools
    • Brochure
      • To order printed copies of the English version, email
      • To receive the brochure in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu or Vietnamese, email Ann Warshauer at Fairfax County Public School at
  • Informational Videos
    • Spare the Child
      Produced in 2010 by the Virginia State Bar Family Law Section through a generous grant from the Virginia Law Foundation, this video gives parents a foundation for navigating separation without creating undue strain on children. Video is available in English and Spanish.
    Parent Education Reports to the General Assembly