Children of Divorce® was conceived and developed by Jeri Amann-Apple and Marti Kitchens-Cobb, both Marriage and Family Therapists in private practice. They clearly saw the need for such a program as they observed the frequency of divorce and re-marriage in their respective practices, and the effect that had on children. They approached judges from both Carroll and Douglas counties who were willing to write a standing court order specifically requiring divorcing parents with children under the age of 18, to attend this seminar. It quickly spread to other counties in the area. For 21 years, Children of Divorce® has been on-going. The program has also been sold both nationally and internationally.
Children of Divorce, Inc. was originally a partnership but was incorporated as a private, for profit entity in 1991, the name was registered and the material was copyrighted.
DEAR Network, Inc., was founded as a private not for profit organization in 1997 by Ron Cobb. DEAR, or Divorce, Education, Assessment and Referral, provided Cooperative Parenting, a series of 8 week classes for high conflict couples who were divorced or divorcing. There was a growing need for such a service as the courts were overwhelmed with revolving door families and were looking for a more productive way to handle conflict than using the court system. Cooperative Parenting taught parents how to communicate as divorced parents, how to resolve conflict and keep their children out of the middle.
Although they have turned over the day to day tasks to Tina Robinson, L.C.S.W., C-ASWCM, Marti and Jeri keep involved in the program as consultants and they continue to revise the course content from time to time reflecting current empirical research data.