Do You Have To Take A Parenting Course During A Florida Divorce?
If you are going through a divorce that involves children, you will have to attend a parenting course before your case can be finalized. The purpose of the course is to help you co-parent effectively post-divorce and to continue to make good choices for your children. When you are able to do this, the negative impact of the divorce on your children is greatly reduced. Our Orlando family lawyer explains what you need to know about these courses below.
Parenting Course Requirements in Florida
In Florida, parenting courses required under the law are known as the “Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course.” The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) governs and oversees these courses. The agency has a listing of approved providers you must use when enrolling in a course. Attending a course is necessary if you have children under the age of 18, even if you and your spouse agree to the terms of the divorce.
The cost of the course varies depending on the provider you use. Some courses are offered for as low as $25 and the session will last approximately four hours. Different providers cannot market their specific course to people going through a divorce. They also cannot provide any legal, medical, or psychological advice during the course.
You must attend the course within 45 days of your divorce petition being filed with the court. If your spouse served you with divorce papers, you have 45 days from the date you were served with the petition to take the course.
Topics Covered in Florida Parenting Courses
Co-parenting is very different after a divorce and during the parenting course, you will learn a number of strategies to make it easier. The parenting course includes topics such as:
- Handling legal disputes post-divorce
- Understanding the emotional and psychological impact of the divorce on everyone in the family
- Identify challenges and goals for the family
- Understanding how to handle financial challenges pertaining to parenting
- How to create a work-life balance when raising a child
The courses are meant to be interactive and you are encouraged to play an active part during discussions. Generally speaking, anything said during the session cannot be used against you in other aspects of your divorce case.
Failure to Attend
Most parents have to attend parenting courses in Florida when they are getting a divorce, but there are some exceptions. Certain situations may arise that prevent you from attending a course. In these cases, it is important to speak to a lawyer who can help you establish the good cause you need to prove to be excused from attending the course. If you do not obtain permission to miss the course and you do not attend, you will face many penalties, including potentially being held in contempt of court.
Our Family Lawyers in Orlando Can Help with Every Aspect of Your Case
At Anderson & Ferrin, P.A., our Orlando family lawyers will ensure you meet all the different requirements during divorce and give you the best chance of a favorable outcome. Call us today at 407-412-7041 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.