Did you know that the state of Florida requires couples with minor children to complete a mandatory parenting class prior to finalizing a divorce? The Parent Education and Family Stabilization class is 4 hours long, and most judicial circuits, including the Orlando area, allow parents to complete the course either online or in person. The purpose of the course is to educate, train, and assist parents in minimizing the emotional impact divorce can bring upon children and couples, and to help families transition during this difficult time. Each parent must take the course independently before a divorce can be finalized.

One of the focuses of the class is on communicating with your children. Children, especially, can take divorce really hard, and may not know how to express how they are feeling inside. Instead, they may act out or adopt negative behaviors. The course offers techniques that help parents talk to their children, which in turn helps the child cope with the changes divorce brings. The course also addresses how divorce will commonly affect different age groups of children, and how parents can deal with these reactions.

In the course, parents learn about what to expect emotionally, physically, and socially as a result of divorce. They learn about the responsibilities they must share as a separated parental team, and how to make child custody and time sharing arrangements work for the child’s benefit. The course also covers legal explanations that divorcing parents need to know, including information about child support and visitation. Parents also learn about abuse, including domestic violence, child abuse, and neglect. In addition to all those topics, divorcing parents are given information on additional resources they can consult if they need further help.

If you need assistance locating a parenting course, speak with your family law attorney or click here for a list of providers on the Florida Department of Children & Families website.