Impact on Children Seminar Details

Applicable Cases

Pierce County Local Rule for Special Proceedings 94.05, effective September 1, 2000, addresses the Impact on Children mandatory seminar. This rule shall apply to all cases filed after September 1, 2000 under Chapter 26.09, Chapter 26.10 or Chapter 26.26 RCW which require a parenting plan or residential schedule for minor children; including:
  • Dissolutions
  • Legal separations
  • Major modifications
  • Nonparental custody actions
  • Paternity actions in which paternity has been established

Mandatory Attendance

In all cases governed by this rule, all parties shall complete an approved parenting seminar. In no case shall opposing parties be required to attend a seminar together, nor more than one seminar.
Seminars from other counties and other states may be accepted on a case by case basis. Seminars must be attended in person and approved by that State or local court for family law/divorce cases.


Parties required by this rule to participate in a parenting seminar shall complete an approved parenting seminar within 60 days after service of the petition or motion initiating the action which is subject to this rule. In the case of paternity actions initiated by the prosecuting attorney's office, the parenting seminar shall be required only when paternity is established or acknowledged and a residential schedule is requested.


Each party attending a seminar shall pay a fee charged by the approved providers and sanctioned by the court. The fees charged shall be approved by the court and shall be no greater than $60 per seminar, unless otherwise approved by the Superior Court judges. The court may waive the fee for indigent parties.

Special Consideration Waiver

Upon a showing of domestic violence or abuse which would not require mutual decision-making, pursuant to RCW 26.09.191, or that a parent's attendance at a seminar is not in the child's best interest, pursuant to Ch. 26.12 RCW, the court shall either:
  • Allow participation in an alternative voluntary parenting seminar for battered spouses
  • Waive the requirement of completion of the seminar
The court may waive the seminar requirement for good cause shown.

Equivalent Courses

When parties choose to use agencies or religious organizations which have not received prior approval by the court, the court may approve the seminar upon a showing of functional equivalency regarding course content and instructor qualifications.

Failure to Comply

Willful refusal to participate in a parenting seminar or willful delay in completion of a parenting seminar by any party may constitute contempt of court and result in sanctions, including, but not limited to:
  • Imposition of monetary terms
  • Striking of pleadings or denial of affirmative relief to a party not in compliance with this rule
Non-participation, or default, by one party does not excuse participation by the other.

For More Information

For more information, please contact the Superior Court by by phone at (253) 798-3654 or by email.