Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Custody 

Kids may take just as much of an emotional hit as the parents when it comes to divorce. The adjustment for the children in transitioning from one household to two and seeing their parents break up can be difficult. This is one of the reasons why the Florida family courts require parents to take a course aimed at successful co-parenting in the midst of separation. 

In Miami divorce cases involving children and paternity cases in which parental responsibility is in dispute, both parents are required to take a 4-hour parenting course. The course may be taken online or in-person and a certificate of completion of the course must be filed prior to entry of the final judgment unless the court orders otherwise. 

The course may cover the following topics, aimed at minimizing the effect of divorce or separation on the children born of the relationship: 

1. Legal aspects of deciding child-related issues between parents.

2. Emotional aspects of separation and divorce on adults.

3. Emotional aspects of separation and divorce on children.

4. Family relationships and family dynamics.

5. Financial responsibilities to a child or children.

6. Issues regarding spousal or child abuse and neglect.

7. Skill-based relationship education that may be generalized to parenting, workplace, school, neighborhood, and civic relationships.

The parents are not required to take the course together, and where there are issues of domestic violence, the court can order that the parents take the course separately. Statements made by the parties in the course cannot be repeated in the court proceedings unless the parties agree otherwise.  A parent can be excused from taking the course altogether within the discretion of the court.

Since failure to take the course can result in the court denying parental responsibility and/or time-sharing to the delinquent parent, it is important to take the course on time. A Miami child custody lawyer can help you meet the requirements of the parenting course, and it may start with a consultation.