Parenting Course Requirements

West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney

Pursuant to Florida law parties in a divorce proceeding with minor children or a paternity action which involves issues of parental responsibility and timesharing must attend and complete an approved parenting course before a final judgment can be entered. Its formal name is the Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course and is four hours long and covers the following topics:

  • Legal aspects of deciding child-related issues between parents
  • Emotional aspects of separation and divorce on adults
  • Emotional aspects of separation and divorce on children
  • Family relationships and family dynamics
  • Financial responsibilities to a child or children
  • Issues regarding spousal or child abuse and neglect
  • Skill-based relationship education that may be generalized to parenting, workplace, school, neighborhood, and civic relationships.

The courses are available online and the cost is as little as $19.95. Each circuit court clerk maintains a list of providers and can provide you with the name and telephone number of providers in your area. There must be at least one provider that charges on a sliding scale.

For good cause the court can excuse one or both parties from attending the course.

In addition to divorce and paternity actions, the court can require parties going through a modification action involving shared parental responsibilities, custody, or timesharing to take the parenting course.

The law offices of West Palm Beach divorce attorney, Stephen J. Press are experienced and knowledgeable concerning the effects that the divorce process has on parents and children and will treat each client individually with compassion and professionalism.

Procedure

When a divorce case or paternity case is initially filed the court will include an order with the papers to be served requiring the parties to attend the parenting class. If a party refuses to or for any unacceptable reason does not attend the course, the court can hold him/her in contempt of court or can even deny a party parenting responsibility for the children. To avoid conflict, the court can prohibit the parties from taking the course together. This is particularly true if there is a history of domestic violence.

Roles After Divorce

Your relationship to your children and your former spouse after divorce is both social and legal. In recent years Florida law has changed markedly in reference to the legal and social relationship between parents and children who have gone through the divorce process. The latest advance is shared parental responsibility.

Parental responsibility is the legal phrase that sums up the roles of the ex-spouses. In effect, it says that both parents retain full rights to their children. Florida law has been revised in that there is no longer "custody" and "visitation" is now known as timesharing. In the technical sense therefore these terms have been modified (although the terms are still often used). With the new development and requirement of a parenting plan the roles of the parents in decision-making and timesharing are stated in very specific terms.

Some anger and hostility is inevitable in most divorces. Deep and lasting anger is not, and it can be very destructive for the children. Where it exists, the parties should seek counseling to reduce or eliminate those feelings. Such counseling will yield benefits for both the parent and the children.

Both parents will face some problems,. The court expects and it is important for the parties minor children that both parties encourage love and respect for the ex-spouse.

When it comes to discipline, any two parents will differ, in the degree and method, about proper disciplining of children. To the extent tolerable, each parent must respect the other spouses methods and philosophy. If they don't, the children will, at best, become confused; at worst, they'll become manipulative.

Parenting is difficult. Even a good marriage, few parents are highly skilled in dealing with their children and their problems. After the divorce parenting skills are called upon as much if not more. Parents and children must go through an adjustment period and must take the time to improve their skills.

Contact a West Palm Beach divorce attorney

If you are considering a divorce it is important that you consult with a highly knowledgeable and professional attorney. Please contact the Law offices of West Palm Beach divorce attorney Stephen J. Press at 561-833-2772 or contact us online for free consultation.