By: Brusca Law
A parenting course is an educational course you are required to take during a divorce or paternity action if you have any minor children in Florida. Not all parenting courses are the same, and most are completed online. The purpose of the four hour class is not to teach you how to be a parent—the purpose is to help you understand and manage the conflict often found in divorce and paternity actions. The state publishes a directory of credentialed courses that you can select from, click here for the list, and they vary in cost. If you chose to take an online course, please make sure your children are not around while you are listening to the course as it has information that should not be heard by the children. Likewise, if you take the class in person, children should be left at home.
The material covered during these courses may be anecdotal and have some information (or war stories) you may not be prepared for. Take the information for what it is worth, and move on. You should take this course as soon as you can shortly after you file your Petition for Divorce or Paternity, as it is due within forty five (45) days of the filing of a Petition for Divorce or Paternity. Once you have completed the course, provide a copy of the certificate of completion to your attorney so it can be filed with the court timely. Remember, both parents are required to take this course (there is no requirement that you must take the course together), and the course must be completed and certificate filed before any case can be finalized.