Parents & Children in Transition (PACT)

***  Program is NO longer available  ***

Effective July 12, 2021 Parent Education is no longer required for divorcing parents who file after July 11th.  Those who filed prior are required to complete the parent education course by September 1st.

The Parents and Children in Transition (PACT) program consists of two 2-1/2 hour long parent education sessions offered by the Hampshire County Bar Association. It is a program of support, and aims to empower parents by imparting information to best help children adjust to divorce. The sessions consist of video, short presentations, and discussion. A male/female team of child development and parent education specialists lead the programs. Topics include:

  • What children need to know
  • Pitfalls for parents to avoid
  • Typical reactions of children to separation/divorce
  • What parents can do to help children adjust
  • Problem solving
  • Dispute resolution and cooperative parenting

Please read all of the information below about registration, payment, schedules, and requirements.

Register & Pay by Mail

Download, print and fill out this registration form to enter the PACT program. Send your check via USPS, or bring it in person to the address indicated on the registration form.

If you have obtained a fee waiver, you must attach the waiver to your registration form.

Register & Pay Online

If you are paying the $80 fee for PACT, you may register and pay online. A $2.75 processing fee will will automatically be added to your payment.

Click here to register and pay online.

Important Information for PACT Sessions

  • Pre-registration is required. Non-registered persons will not be able to attend.
  • Sessions tend to fill quickly. Please click the PACT Schedule tab to choose program dates.
  • Child care is not available. Please do not bring children.
  • Divorcing parents are required to attend separate sessions.
  • All sessions begin promptly at 6:00 p.m. Parents arriving late will need to reschedule.
  • Sessions end on time at 8:30 p.m.
  • “If you have a court order preventing contact between you and the other parent and child (ren), or if there is a history of domestic violence, you may ask the court for a waiver.”
  • Call 413-586-4597 for further registration information.

PACT Sessions are 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. The location will be announced when your registration is confirmed. All programs are held in Northampton.

  • Registration Fee: $80.00 per person
  • Fee waivers: All but $5.00 may be waived for persons qualifying as indigent. A fee waiver can be obtained through the Probate and Family Court (413) 586-8500 and must be attached to the registration with $5.00.
  • Pre-registration is required. After registering you will receive a confirmation letter via email or U.S. Postal Service.
  • Attendance without confirmation is not permitted.
  • The dates and location of the program will be announced in the confirmation letter. All programs are held in Northampton.

Resources for Parents & Children

PACT Handbook

In preparation for our classes and to better support you and your children, PACT registrants are asked to log onto the website and complete the program. This highly acclaimed educational and motivation resource will guide you to greater clarity on issues related to our workshop. Upon conclusion of this online program, a certificate of completion can be printed which can be submitted to the courts documenting your participation in the web-based aspect of our training.

November 2020 – Letter from Chief Justice Casey, Probate and Family Court ~ Navigating the Holidays with COVID-19

COVID-19 Resources

Other Resources

Good reference for step-families:

Excellent film about step-family relationships: Video: Parents & Stepparents; Parents Tell Stepparents What They Really Think  •

Good general book about divorce not on our list yet: by Robert Emery: Two  Homes, One Childhood:

Link to Ourfamilywizard, an online program to help co-parents communicate effectively and with a built-in buffer:

Family Relations Specialty Court (Hampshire County) and link to the Court’s website for more information 

ADR (Conciliation, Mediation, Case Evaluation & Arbitration) Provider List

DV (Domestic Violence) Resource List

Recommended Reading for Families

To help your family and children cope with separation or divorce, you may be interested in these recommended books. We always recommend that parents read children’s books ahead of time to be sure you feel comfortable with the wording. (Popular website with guidance for divorcing parents)

More recommended reading here.

Mama and Daddy Bear’s Divorce
by Cornelia M. Spelman

More recommended reading here.

Early Elementary School
It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear
by Vicki Lansky

Older Elementary School
Dinosaurs Divorce
by Laurene and Marc Brown

More recommended reading here.

Divorce is Not the End of the World – Zoe’s and Evan’s Coping Guide for Kids
by Zoe, Evan and their mom, Ellen Sue Stern

More recommended reading here.