News and Information
April 13, 2009

Virginia Law Foundation Grant Will Provide for Updated Spare the Child Video

Through a grant from the Virginia Law Foundation, the Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar is redesigning their popular Spare the Child video, making it more user-friendly and accessible.

Designed to be shown to parents contemplating custody litigation the original Spare the Child video was distributed in 1997 to courts around the state for use in mandatory litigant-education programs, with additional copies made available to the public. With 30,000 divorces yearly in Virginia, use of the Spare the Child video program was widespread, and this very popular video gave parents the foundation for navigating a divorce without creating undue strain on children when handling visitation, custody, and child support issues. It stresses the importance of divorcing parents keeping the best interests of their children in mind.

Used in many statewide programs, including parent education programs required by law under Section 16.1-278.15 of the Code of Virginia, which requires parents and/or all other parties involved in a contested custody, visitation, or child support petition to attend a parent education class, the current Spare the Child video is frequently requested from the bar not only by divorcing individuals but also by churches and community groups to use in parenting programs. The video is also used in family law programs in law schools as a part of the curriculum, assuring that the commonwealth’s newest family lawyers will be bringing the qualities of the Spare the Child video into their practices. Additionally, many judges in family and juvenile courts require divorcing parents to watch the Spare the Child video to encourage mediation.

Though still a well-used resource today, the 1997 version of the Spare the Child video needed updating. Many requests from across the commonwealth have been made for updated versions, multi-lingual versions, and copies on DVD. The redesign of the already valuable product will make the video more contemporary, user-friendly and multilingual. The final video will be produced on DVD with multiple language options as well as streamed to the web.

Once the video is created, it will be delivered to the courts of Virginia and marketed through the Family Law Section and the Virginia State Bar. Copies of the video and internet streaming will be available for public and private use.

Production begins on the redesigned video in the fall of 2009, with a projected release date of early 2010. The $44,513 grant will fund production and distribution costs.

Updated: Apr 13, 2009