If you are getting divorced in Florida and have minor children, or if you are involved in a paternity action where you are an unmarried parent trying to resolve issues around time sharing with children, the law requires you to take a parenting class.
Most people realize that divorce does impact children, even when all parties try their best to prevent it. By requiring parents to take a Parent Education and Family Stabilization course (parenting class), the courts and legislature hope to give parents the tools to make the best decisions and take positive actions during their divorce or separation so that any impact is as minimal as possible.
On the Treasure Coast, one such class is Life Paths of Florida.* We here at Jones Chesnutt have been very impressed by the staff at Life Paths. They have a 16 week parenting class that includes components addressing not only parenting, but domestic violence and anger management. The sessions are 2.5 hours each, once a week. The class allows for group sessions as well as break-out sessions, and the staff is happy to have children come and participate alongside their parents. This can truly be a beneficial experience for all involved. If the staff feels it is appropriate and if there is a need, it is possible to complete the course in less than 16 weeks. You can contact the staff of Life Paths at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This class is more than what is required by Florida law. However, we know that family law cases can get very messy, and it is not uncommon for allegations of abuse or violence to be brought up in court. Regardless of the truth of such allegations, it may put the court at ease to see a parent going above and beyond to make well-being of their family a priority. Taking a class like this does not mean that someone is admitting to any allegations. There is often very good information that can be applied to current and future relationships. It’s never a bad thing to learn how to better manage our emotions, especially when those emotions are running high. Proactively learning new techniques may prevent a person from acting out of character when they are faced with the stress associated with a divorce or separation.
Florida Department of Children & Families list of Parent Education and Family Stabilization providers. Your Judicial Circuit might accept classes from other providers not on the list. Check with your attorney or the court to see if the class you are interested in is accepted in your circuit.
*This post is not sponsored by Life Paths in any way, and we make no promises that anyone else will have the same experience.