Under Florida law, parents who are involved in divorce proceedings are required to take a divorce parenting class. The class is required because parental conflicts arise so often during divorce and it can be a real issue, particularly when young children are involved. The divorce parenting class helps to minimize conflict and provides guidance to parents on how to ease any negative effects that the divorce may have on their children. You don’t have to worry about attending the class with your soon to be ex-spouse. You can both attend separate classes in your own time and at your own convenience. You may also sign-up for an on-line class, to take at your convenience.
When signing up for the parenting class, you will want to make sure you take the class that has been approved by your local jurisdiction and by the Court. So if you’re in West Palm Beach or in Palm Beach County, be sure to sign up for an approved divorce parenting class that is offered in this jurisdiction. Whether you take an online class or in person will depend on your discretion. A simple Internet search for Palm Beach County divorce parenting classes can give you a list of providers.
What Might I Expect When Taking The Parenting Class?
Parenting classes must be at least four hours in duration, but they can be longer. As mentioned above, the class can either be online or in-person. You will also likely be charged a reasonable fee for the class. The class will typically provide information regarding the following:
- The legal process for resolving custody disputes, and any issues that might arise;
- The stages of divorce, and any emotions or problems that parents may face;
- The needs of and any concerns about children whose parents are going through a divorce;
- Information on any resources or community services that are available to help parents through the divorce process;
- Information on family dynamics and relationships during a divorce;
- Information on financial obligations or responsibilities such as child support;
- Information about spousal or child abuse and neglect.
After you complete a court ordered parenting class, you will receive a certificate that will be filed with the Court so that the judge knows that you’ve complied with the class requirement. If you do not complete the course, the Court will not finalize your divorce, and in some instances, could hold you in contempt. What this means is that you can go to jail if you do not comply with a court ordered parenting class requirement, as this is a direct order from the Court. So there really is no way to avoid the parenting class if children are involved and if you want your divorce finalized.
As soon as you file for divorce, it is best that you try to take the parenting course sooner rather than later so that you don’t have to worry about taking it as your divorce nears finalization. It also is a good way to let the Court know that you are serious, responsible, and doing what’s required of you.
Contact a Dedicated and Knowledgeable West Palm Beach Family Law Attorney Today
If you’re looking to file for divorce, or have been served with a divorce petition and children are involved, you will be required to participate in a parenting class before your divorce is finalized. If you have any questions about the parenting class, need help finding a class, or just have questions about the divorce process in general, be sure to consult with an experienced Family Law Attorney right away. Eric C. Cheshire, P.A. focuses primarily on divorce and family law. Call us today at (561) 295-3693 to schedule your case evaluation.