Family Court Services
Parenting Skills Program provides services for families who are embroiled in hostility, non-communication and severe mistrust between divorced parents. These services are designed to help mitigate conflict between parents and attempt to help create a more stable, healthy experience for children who need to have access to both of their parents. Domestic Relations Services, at times, also include grandparents. Families are either referred by orders from Family court or through voluntary stipulation by both parents.
Parenting Skills Program schedules a supervisor to oversee the transfer of children from one family member to another, so that visitation can occur in a timely, non-hostile manner. All exchanges occur inside one of our facilities. Both parents or their designee are separated at the time of exchange unless both parties sign that they waive the right to separation. The child(ren) then are brought from the room where they were with the “drop-off” parent to the room where the “pick-up” parent awaits. There is a mandatory minimum 5 minute delay between the exits of each party, unless both parties sign that they waive the right to a delayed exit. The cost of exchange is $30 per exchange.
Basic Visitation Services
A supervisor is assigned to be present during the entire time that the visiting parent is with the visiting child(ren). The supervisor does not interact in the visit but only observes and records the interaction between parent and child. The visiting parent signs an agreement to abide by visitation guidelines (copy of visitation guidelines) and the supervisor intervenes if the agreement is violated. Basic visitation supervisors are social workers trained in our policy. Supervised visitation only occurs at our Tempe office location. The cost of basic visitation is $60 per hour. Please complete and return the designated forms in this packet if you are selecting Basic Supervision or Exchange services. After completion you can return the signed forms via mail or in person. We need your original, signed, paperwork for our files.
Therapeutic Supervision of Visitation
A Master’s level counselor is appointed to actively participate in the visit between parent and child to help the establish, repair or enhance their relationship. A periodic progress report is prepared for court decision-making purposes. The cost of therapeutic visitation is $90 per hour. Please complete and return the designated forms in this packet if you are selecting Therapeutic Visitation or Reunification Services. After completion you can return the signed forms via mail or in person. We need your original, signed paperwork for our files.
Licensed clinical psychologists provide assessment evaluations and reports of individuals and families for court decision-making purposes. The cost of special evaluations is $125 per hour.
Testimony by any Parenting Skills staff requires a subpoena and a $200 fee, served and delivered at least 2 weeks before the scheduled hearing. PhD testimony requires a subpoena and a fee of $600. This represents a two hour minimum time commitment. Master’s level testimony requires a fee of $200 which represents a two hour minimum time commitment. Additional time will be billed at the posted rate.
Records for basic visitation and exchange can be accessed with a subpoena and a $20 copy fee presented to the office one week before records are needed. All other records must also have either a signed release from both parents or a court order for their release.
Reports of Basic Exchange and Visitation services are automatically prepared monthly and sent to the court. If parties wish to access these reports, they must subpoena the file. Reports for therapeutic services must be requested by the involved parties or by the court. Requests for these reports must be submitted at least two weeks before they are needed with the appropriate fee. Fees for reports are $100 for Master’s level and $200 for PhD. If a child is involved, a non court-ordered report will not be prepared without releases from both parents. If the court orders the report, the fee for preparing the report will split between the two parents or involved parties.
How to Arrange for Services
- Both parents (or both parties) must call the office themselves to declare their willingness to participate in services. Parents will be asked for reliable phone numbers and addresses where they can be reached. This information will not be shared with the other party. Calls and information will not be accepted from relatives, attorneys, or any third parties.
- Both parents must fill out Parenting Skills paperwork. These will be faxed or mailed to parents when they call to comply.
- Parenting Skills must either have the court order mandating services or a signed agreement from both parties expressing willingness to participate in services.
- When all this is completed, office staff will contact each party to schedule services. All services are scheduled individually. Parties who do not prearrange and confirm appointments will not be given services.
- A client is expected to keep his or her appointments with Parenting Skills staff.
- Barring an unforeseen documentable emergency, if a client cannot keep his or her appointment he or she will be expected to call the agency to cancel within 24 hours of the appointment. Saturday, Sunday and Monday appointments must be canceled by 9 am on Friday.
- Failure to do this will be considered a no-show.
- If a person had an unforeseeable emergency, written documentation of this emergency must be given to Parenting Skills Program. The director will make a decision as to the integrity of the excuse and deem the occasion either an emergency or a no-show.
- Any person responsible for a no-show shall be obligated to pay for the entire appointment plus a $20.00 service charge. No further scheduling or appointments will be made until this obligation is met.
- If a client incurs a no-show, the DR coordinator shall write and send a letter to the client deemed responsible, detailing the date and time of the missed appointment and the financial obligation necessary to resume services.
- A copy of this letter shall be sent to the other party in the DR case as well as to the referring judge and any guardian ad litem involved with the case. A copy of the letter shall also be placed in the DR file.
- Payment for services is expected and required at the time of services.
- All payment must be made in cash or money order. Failure to bring the correct currency will be considered non-payment.
- Clients will be charged the entire payment fee for no shows, or late cancellations (defined as less than 24 hour notice on Monday through Friday and notice after Friday at 9am for any weekend or Monday services).
- Clients seeking services from a court order must pay in full for no-shows or late cancellations prior to the next services being scheduled.