Gwinnett County Navigating Family Change Parent Seminar

Posted by Doug Lewis | Apr 23, 2015 | 0 Comments


In all domestic actions filed in Gwinnett County Superior Court that involve a minor child or children both parents are required to successfully complete the Gwinnett County parenting seminar within thirty-one (31) days of service of the divorce petition on the Defendant.  The parenting seminar is known as Navigating Family Change: A Parent Seminar.  The only exclusion to the requirement are contempt cases and generally domestic violence cases involving minor children.

In each such Gwinnett County domestic action involving a minor child there will be a Parenting Workshop Standing Order attached to the divorce petition that sets out the requirement to complete the parenting seminar.

The Court's Standing Order states that “appropriate action, including but not limited to contempt, may be taken upon a party's failure to successfully complete the workshop”.

The Court's Standing Order also provides, “for good cause shown, the requirement of completion of this workshop may be waived in individual cases”.  (However, I have had cases such as divorce matters where the minor child was already 17 years old and the judges agreed to waive the requirement for the parents to attend the seminar).

Important Information Regarding the Gwinnett County Navigating Family Change Parenting Seminar

–          a four-hour educational seminar which takes place in one day (Thursday);

–          the seminar is held four times monthly, three morning sessions and one evening session (the seminar schedule can be found here);

–          the cost is $30.00 per person and payment is by cash or money order (payable to Gwinnett County ADR; payment will be accepted at the door;

–          to be successfully completed within 31 days of service of the original complaint upon the original defendant;

–          parties do not have to attend the seminar with their spouses or ex-spouses;

–          children are not allowed in the workshop;

–          pre-registration is required; registration must be received prior to the day of the seminar; once you register you will not receive any further notification of the seminar date;

–          the seminar requirement may be satisfied by a certificate from another approved court sponsored parenting seminar such as:

Ninth Judicial District – 770-535-6909

Cobb County – 770-528-1812

Dekalb County – 404-371-4953

Fulton County – 404-612-4618 (also offers seminar in spanish)

–          all seminars to be held at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center (75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville, GA 30046). Seminars will be in Conference Room A West Wing, located on the second floor;

–          arrive 15 minutes early to receive your materials; attendees arriving late will be required to reschedule;

–          for directions call 770-822-8195 or go to the Court's Parenting Seminar link.

–          if you are unable to attend the seminar for which you registered, you may reschedule for another date, but no refunds are available;

–          certificates will be issued after completing the evaluations; the court will provide a copy of the certificate to the participant and the original certificate will be kept on file with the court;

–          a fee waiver is available for parties having filed under a pauper's affidavit, carrying a current Medicare/Medicaid card, or falling under the indigent guidelines as set by the state. If you believe you qualify, send a copy of your pauper's affidavit or Medicare/Medicaid card with your registration form or call for a fee waiver application.

–          If you have questions or need more information then please call 770-822-8195 or go to the Court's Parenting Seminar link.

How to Register for the Gwinnett County Parenting Seminar

  1. Register online here

(After you fill out the form, you will be taken to Confirmation page, so that you can review your information submitted and confirm it to receive a confirmation number that you need to bring with you. If you do not receive a confirmation number, try to register again or at another time.)

  1. Fax: 770-822-8588
  2. Phone: 770-822-8195
  3. Mail to the address on the registration form.
  4. Hand deliver to the the 3rd Floor, Administrative Office of the Courts (East Wing, Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center

The seminar focuses on the developmental needs of children, with emphasis on fostering the child's emotional health during periods of stress. The program is informative, supportive, and directs people desiring additional information or help to appropriate resources. The course content includes:

  • Responding to Children — how to talk to them to assist in their emotional adjustment to parental separation or divorce; and so they can stay out of the parental conflict, preserve their self-esteem, and simply be children
  • Leaver/Leavee — the emotional impact on each parent after separation or divorce and how it affects the children
  • Grief Process — how to recognize the stages of grief in self and family members; and how to respond to family members in the different grief stages
  • Co-Parenting — the importance of approaching co-parenting realistically and setting appropriate boundaries to minimize conflict
  • Parenting Plan Basics — the importance of a clear and detailed plan and how to incorporate elements to best execute a cooperative or parallel co-parenting style
  • Child Development — considering the above subjects given the various stages of child development

About the Author

Doug Lewis

Doug is an experienced trial lawyer and advocate with a particular emphasis in family law, civil litigation and criminal defense matters.  As a family lawyer, he has represented a wide range of clients in nearly every type of situation, including, complex and simple divorces, custody disputes, contentious move away proceedings, modification of child support and custody cases, contempt actions and restraining/protective order proceedings.


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Douglas W. Lewis, Attorney at Law

My philosophy is to treat you with the same care and respect as I would for one of my own family. I am committed to providing a high level of personal care and attention to every aspect of your case until it is resolved. I will work closely with you and provide individualized attention in my aim to resolve your legal challenges in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Contact Us Today!

If you or someone you know needs an experienced attorney in Gwinnett County or the surrounding counties, then please contact me for a free phone consultation at 770-682-3765.

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