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Parenting Education Requirement for Boca Raton Child Custody Cases

You expect certain things when you are going through a divorce. You’ll have to provide financial information to determine alimony and child support payments, as well as the equitable division of assets. You may have to part with some of your property, whether it is giving it to your spouse or selling it as part of the proceedings. And you’ll have to decide on a time-sharing arrangement regarding the children.

But one thing you may be unaware of is Florida’s requirement that all parents going through a divorce enroll in a parenting education class.

Divorce is hard on children even when the split is amicable – they are suddenly spending less time with each parent, they may have to move to a different home, and perhaps even switch schools. All of this transition has short and long-term effects on the child. If the divorce is not amicable, the effects can be even worse, with children often feeling stuck in the middle, or worse, as if the divorce is their fault.

Recognizing the emotional impact divorce can have on children, the Florida legislature enacted a law that requires parents to enroll in an authorized parenting course. Parents who understand the custody process, and how it may affect children, tend to have less stress and animosity throughout the proceedings, which helps make the process less stressful on their children. The purpose of the course is to educate parents on the custody process and offer constructive advice on how to make the transition as easy as possible on the children. Topics may include:

  • Legal aspects regarding the creation of time-sharing arrangements and the court’s decision making process;
  • Emotional aspects of separation and divorce on children and adults;
  • Family relationships and family dynamics, and how they may be affected by divorce;
  • Parents’ financial responsibilities to the children;
  • Spousal or child abuse and neglect, and;
  • Relationship education.

The Florida Department of Children and Families approves each course, which must be a minimum of four hours. Classes may be taken in-person, online or through correspondence. Unless otherwise approved by the court, parents must complete the course within 45 days of the divorce being filed and must file proof of completion with the court.

Failure to attend the parenting class may result in being held in contempt, or the court may deny shared parental responsibility or time-sharing until completed.

Boca Raton Child Custody Attorneys Can Help

Divorce is stressful on adults and children. At Schwartz | White, our attorneys understand the emotional impact divorce can have on a family. That is why we approach every case with the utmost sensitivity and respect for all those involved, and strive to reach an agreement on all issues to make the transition easier. But if a resolution can’t be reached, we will fight to ensure a fair and equitable division of assets and a time-sharing arrangement that is in your children’s best interest. If you are in the middle of a divorce or custody dispute, contact the Boca Raton child custody attorneys at Schwartz | White today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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