Can A Florida Court Require You To Take Parenting Classes During A Divorce?
Often, an Orlando child custody lawyer receives calls from people asking, “Can a court require me to take a parenting class during a divorce?”
The short answer is, “Yes, it can.” Under Florida law, spouses who share children together must take a parenting class before their divorce is finalized.
The goal of requiring parents to attend parenting classes is to prevent parental conflicts and provide guidance to parents sharing custody after a divorce is final.
Before signing up for a parenting class, make sure that the class is approved by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) in your jurisdiction. If you live and file for divorce in Orlando, make sure that you sign up for a government-approved parenting class available in your jurisdiction.
Contact our experienced attorney at Arwani Law Firm to help you sign up for a DCF-approved parenting class and protect your rights during your custody proceedings.
Why Do Florida Courts Require Parenting Classes?
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for children to suffer long-term negative effects following their parents’ divorce, particularly due to post-divorce conflicts between their parents. In an attempt to minimize children’s suffering, Florida courts require parenting classes to help people be good parents to their children after a divorce.
Parenting classes are designed to provide support and guidance for divorced parents to protect the best interests of the children.
Note: Florida law does not require you to attend parenting classes with your soon-to-be-former-spouse. You have a right to attend classes separately.
Who Oversees the Parenting Classes in Florida?
Mandatory parenting classes are governed by the Florida Department of Children and Families. The DCF has a list of approved providers of parenting classes in each jurisdiction. Make sure that you sign up for one of the DCF-approved classes to ensure that your certificate of completion is valid for your divorce.
How Long Do Court-Ordered Parenting Classes Last?
Given that you have many things to take care of in your life, especially when you are a parent going through a divorce, it is perfectly normal to wonder, “How long do parenting classes last?”
Generally, court-ordered parenting classes last around four hours. Parents filing for divorce have 45 days from the date of filing the petition to complete the course.
Can a Florida Court Excuse the Parenting Class Requirement?
Yes, a court may excuse the parenting class requirement if there is a good cause. If you have a good cause for not taking the course, contact an attorney to convince the judge to excuse the requirement in your case.
If you fail or refuse to take the parenting class without good cause, the court will impose penalties for failing to comply with the court-ordered requirements.
A judge may hold you in contempt of court for failing to attend the court-mandated parenting courses during a divorce, not to mention that the judge may restrict your access to the child, refuse to award joint custody rights, and impose other sanctions if appropriate.
Do not hesitate to contact an Orlando child custody attorney at Arwani Law Firm to fight for your custody rights during a divorce case. Call 407-254-0060 for a case review.