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Parenting Courses in Florida Divorces: What Are They and Why Are They Important?

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Under Florida Statute 61.21, divorcing parents with minor children need to take a parenting course before receiving a final divorce ruling. Many divorcing Floridian parents are usually surprised to learn that failure to attend these classes negatively affects divorce-related judgments such as time-sharing decisions.

After filing for divorce, a petitioner has 45 days to complete a parenting course. A respondent also has 45 days after the day they receive the divorce papers to complete the course.

Divorce is frustrating, and it takes a toll on divorcing parents. For example, dealing with the pressure that comes with waiting for the court to decide about child custody matters is not easy. The need to obtain a certificate for completing a parenting course only makes matters worse for many parents. Many feel as if courts undermine parents’ ability to take care of their children by asking them to attend parenting courses.

Contrary to what some parents might think, the statute that requires parents to undertake parenting courses before courts can make final divorce rulings was created to benefit every involved party. The law was not designed to undermine parents’ parenting ability.

Some Basics on Parenting Courses in Florida

According to the law, parents should only take parenting courses that;

  • are approved by the Department of Children and Family Services.
  • Last for a minimum of four hours.
  • Train, educate, and help parents understand the consequences of divorce on children and parents.

Additionally, according to the law, it is beneficial for divorcing parents to attend a program that provides information on;

  • the emotional problems and experiences that adults go through when divorcing.
  • how to resolve child support and time-sharing issues.
  • the emotional concerns of children.
  • the various family issues associated with divorce.
  • the accessibility of resources and community services.

Benefits of Parenting Courses

Divorce is not only hard for parents. It is also difficult for children to deal with divorce. As a parent, you might believe that you can guide or take care of your child or children after a divorce without attending the parenting course. Even if you can do that, a parenting course will only help you do an even better job at taking care of your child after the divorce.

Attending parenting courses comes with several benefits. For example, a parenting course will help you learn how to avoid and handle child custody disputes. Parenting courses also help parents protect their children’s wellbeing.

Consequences for Failing To Attend Parenting Courses

If you do not attend the parenting course within 45 days of either filing or receiving divorce papers, you will be guilty of defying, disrespecting, or insulting the court. Generally, you will be held in contempt of court. On top of that, a parent who fails to attain a certificate for completing a parenting course risks not receiving shared parenting responsibilities.

Allow Joyce A. Julian, P.A. To Help You Today

If you are a parent handling divorce, you need to work with a qualified divorce attorney to avoid negatively impacting the divorce ruling. Contact the skilled Fort Lauderdale divorce attorneys at the office of Joyce A. Julian, P.A. at 954-467-6656 today to schedule a consultation.





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