Programs that maintain and, where appropriate, provide access to or copies of the official document that dissolves a marriage relationship between two people.
Programs that provide assistance for people who are initiating or responding to a suit for an annulment of their marriage, which establishes that a marital status never existed; a legal separation, which suspends the marriage so far as concerns the cohabitation of the two parties; or a divorce, which totally dissolves the marriage relationship. These programs may also discuss and represent the individual's interests regarding distribution of property assets and parenting issues regarding any children.
Programs that are specially designed for parents who are separated, in the process of divorcing or have divorced or who never married but have children and who need to develop the knowledge and skills to understand and respond to the special needs their children may have as a result of the divorce/separation and to succeed in their ongoing roles as mother and father despite the fact that they are no longer husband and wife or partners. Topics may include the impact of separation and divorce on families, developmental stages of children and expected reactions to divorce, skills parents can use to minimize stress and help children to cope, guidelines for reducing conflicts and solving custody issues out of court and recognizing when a child needs special help and where to find resources. Co-parenting workshops may also be structured for parents in other situations.
Mutual support groups whose members are adults and/or children who are experiencing the trauma of a divorce or a broken relationship. The groups provide an opportunity for participants to understand their relationships past and present; work through feelings of grief, loss, rejection, guilt and other emotions related to their experience; and gain a sense of their own identity. Meeting formats may include in-person, telephone or Internet options.
Programs that provide emotional support, problem solving assistance, and guidance for one or both married or cohabiting partners who are having problems with their relationship and need assistance to identify the root of their difficulty and explore alternative resolutions with the objective of enhancing the relationship for both partners. Counselling may be available in a variety of settings and may include individual or group counselling for one or both of the partners, conjoint counselling and encounter-type experiences for groups of couples who are experiencing marital problems and/or who want to enhance their marriages.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.