Are You Required to Take a Parenting Course During a Florida Divorce?
If you are getting a divorce and have children with your spouse, you are required to complete a parenting course before your divorce is finalized. The course is intended to teach participants how to co-parent and make the best decisions for their children once the divorce is final. When parents can work together even after the marriage ends, it can protect the children from the harmful impacts of divorce. Below, our Tampa child custody attorney explains more about the required parenting courses.
How to Find a Parenting Course
People who file for divorce have 45 days from the day they file the divorce petition to complete the course. When a person is served with divorce papers, they have 45 days from the day of service to complete the course.
The Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course is the official name of the parenting class individuals are required to take. The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) governs the courses. The DCF provides a list of local and online providers. Providers only offer co-parenting strategies and they cannot provide legal, medical, or psychological advice. Providers cannot market to divorcing parents with the intent of encouraging them to take that specific course.
The cost of the course will vary by provider, but they often cost as little as $25. Participants are responsible for paying for the course at their own expense.
Parenting courses are intended to provide participants with co-parenting strategies they can implement after divorce. The topics covered include:
- The emotional and psychological impact of divorce on all family members
- How to resolve legal issues post-divorce
- Financial issues associated with raising children
- Establishing challenges and goals for the family
- Creating a balance between work and family life
Participant engagement is encouraged during the parenting course. However, in most cases nothing said in the course can be used against someone during their divorce case.
Failure to Attend
Although parenting courses are required for most divorcing couples, there are times when a person may be excused from it. Normally, there can be no excuse as the courses are online and in person. If you feel as though you cannot take the parenting course, it is critical to speak to an attorney who can help you establish good cause for failing to attend the course. If you do not complete the course and you have not obtained permission from the court, you can face serious consequences. You may face financial penalties or a judge may find you in contempt of court and restrict your parenting time. Furthermore, you cannot obtain a final judgment until the course is taken by both parties.
Our Tampa Child Custody Attorney Can Advise on All Aspects of Your Case
When you are getting a divorce, there are several different requirements you must meet. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa child custody attorney can advise you of what those are so your best interests are protected and you obtain the most favorable outcome. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to obtain more information. Se habla Español.