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Parenting Classes in Florida: Why Do I Need One?

When Floridians move out of state, for example, to attend an out-of-state college, they can find plenty of reasons to brag to their buddies from other states. I swam in an alligator-infested river and lived to tell about it! Yes, people flaunt their cosmetic surgery-enhanced bodies on Florida beaches every day, even Christmas! I have had a driver’s license since my 16th birthday, and I have never once parallel parked, not even on my driving test! The last boast is what makes your buddies do a double-take, since the other Florida quirks are quite famous. It is entirely possible to get a driver’s license in Florida without learning how to parallel park; almost everywhere has a parking lot or parking garage, anyway. What you do need to do in order to get a driver’s license in Florida before you can take the test to get your license is complete a one-day course about traffic safety and Florida traffic laws.

What has any of this to do with divorce in Florida? It turns out that many Florida divorce cases require parenting classes. In fact, mandatory parenting classes in Florida divorce cases are almost as routine as the one-day class for new drivers in Florida.

Mandatory Parenting Classes in Florida

It is common for Florida family courts to require Florida couples going through a divorce to complete the Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course before the judge will sign the final divorce decree. In fact, Florida courts require it of every divorcing couple that has minor children. Additionally, when a man who is not married to his child’s mother establishes paternity, the court requires both parents to complete the course.

If a court requires you to take a parenting course, it does not mean that the judge thinks you are a bad parent. It is simply to make sure that both parents understand the legal requirements and basic principles for co-parenting a child when the parents are not married to each other. In fact, the courts do not require the class for just one parent; they always require it for both parents.  The parents do not have to attend the class together, though, and in fact, they usually do not. The course is designed not to be a major burden on parents. The minimum length for the course is four hours; most of the time, the courses last just one afternoon or evening. While the law does not specify a price for the course, the course must not be prohibitively expensive. In practice, the usual price for a Florida parenting course is between $18 and $39.

Alan R. Burton Works with Family Law Cases in Florida

Completing a required parenting course is just about the only thing that is easy about divorce when you have minor children. For everything else, you need the help of an experienced family lawyer. Contact Alan R. Burton in Boca Raton, Florida about divorce and child custody.