Call 24/7

How A Court Required Florida Parenting Class? Here’s What to Expect…

Florida law requires every parent involved in a divorce proceeding to take an educational parenting course. It doesn’t matter if you’re the worst parent or the best parent in the world; this is a mandatory course and is a bare minimum of education for both parents in Florida divorce.

Florida law requires every parent be involved in a divorce proceeding to take an educational parenting course. It doesn’t matter if you’re the worst parent or the best parent in the world; this is a mandatory course and is a parental responsibility for both parents in Florida divorce.

In addition, there are parenting effectiveness training courses and self-help program available through local mental health associations. Also, there are even support groups for parents that can help you develop a positive parenting plan for your family.

Index for Quick Jump

Why You Have to Take a Parenting Course in Florida

Parental conflict related to divorce is a real problem in Florida, and one that our lawmakers are determined to minimize whenever possible. We know that children can suffer both short-term and long-term effects when parents act crazy during a divorce.

A parenting course is designed to provide information to the parents regarding the process with which courts make decisions on issues affecting children and to provide suggestions on how parents can ease the effects on their family during a divorce. In other words, the class will help train and assist divorcing parents in regards to negative effects on their children, how to minimize those effects, and actually help the children survive and thrive.

What to Expect from the Parenting Course

While they can be longer, a Florida parenting course must be a minimum of four hours. It’s important to take a parenting course that has been approved by the local jurisdiction. So for example, in Pinellas County we have parenting courses that have been approved and easily found online with a Google search.

Note that parenting courses can be taken either online or in-person. However, it’s important to check with the judge that’s assigned your case to make sure that an online parenting course will be approved. There are certain judges that feel that this educational information is best absorbed when a parent attends in-person, and therefore will not allow an online course to fulfill the education requirement.

A Florida parenting course will provide general information about the following:

  • Common issues and legal procedures for resolving custody disputes.
  • The emotional experience, stages of divorce, and problems facing the divorcing parents.
  • The emotional concerns and needs of children when their parents are going through a divorce.
  • The availability of community services and resources to help the parents as they go through the divorce process.
  • Family relationships and family dynamics.
  • Financial responsibilities such as child support to a child or children. Issues regarding spousal or child abuse and neglect.
  • Relationship education.

Once the parent completes the course, they will be the proud owner of a fancy certificate stating that they’ve completed the course, the name of the course, and the number of hours that they’ve attended.

We have our clients take a parenting course immediately at the onset of the case. It’s best to get that out of the way, and the information is a good supplement to the other information provided to our clients on our website. We ask our clients to immediately send us the parenting class certificate in digital form, so that we can get it filed with the court and let the judge know that our clients are doing what needs to be done.

What if a Parent Does Not Complete the Course?

Not completing the parenting course can throw a monkey wrench in the finalization of your divorce. In the worst-case scenario, judges have the power to turn over all decision-making responsibility to the parent who did complete the course until the other parent completes the course!

In fact, the statute gives the judge the power to hold a parent in contempt of court for not attending a course. That means that you could actually be sent to jail for not doing what you need to do. This is because completion of the course is mandatory under Florida law. Florida law states explicitly that everybody who has child-related issues to be brought before the court must take the parenting course as expeditiously as possible after filing a divorce. All parties must file proof of compliance (through their attorneys) with the court prior to entering the final phase of the divorce.

Don’t worry — there’s no requirement that you attend the parenting course with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. You’ll each attend in your own time at your own convenience. In fact, in situations where there is domestic violence it’s not uncommon for the court to actually prohibit both parties from attending a parenting course at the same time.

So What are Approved Courses?

Each county in Florida is required to provide their own list of approved parenting courses. Statute allows each parent to be charged a reasonable fee; in Pinellas, Hillsboro, and Pascoe counties the going rate is $39 for the course.

Note that you may talk freely in the course should you want to do so. Information obtained or statements made by you or any party at these educational sessions is prohibited from being used against you in court.

Parenting Effectiveness Training Courses

While the statute only requires parents to attend one informational course, there are other community-based parenting courses throughout counties in Florida. Common ones include courses that are done over the course of eight weeks with a total of 12 hours. Many courses are age-specific, meaning there are different courses for children based on whatever age bracket they’re in. Usually there are courses for infants and toddlers, preschoolers, school-age children, and older adolescents.

While it’s not common for parents to voluntarily enter these parent effectiveness training courses, they are a great tool for the judge to help when a parent has not been actively involved in the child’s life and needs help getting themselves up to speed.

Parent Support Groups

Likewise, the same community resources provide parents with the opportunity to join support groups to deal with parenting issues while going through dissolution of marriage. This helps the parents get different perspectives from other members in their group related to parenting and dealing with co-parenting with the other parent. A mental health professional usually serves as the leader of these groups.

Individualized Special Needs Parenting Sessions

In some cases something more aggressive is needed — such as an individualized special needs parenting session. For example, consider a parent who needs specific training on how the high conflict that they are experiencing can affect the preschool child. A judge can order such sessions and even further counseling to help that parent understand what they need to do to help their children succeed.

Intensive 36-Week Parenting Course

Finally, there are intensive parenting classes designed to meet changing needs of the family. These are divided into three 12-week, one-hour programs in a group format.

The first 12-week program works on effective, non-emotional parenting techniques used to aid specific types of behavior disorders.

The second 12-weeks works on communication skills for use with children and adolescents.

The third 12-week program is for parents to discuss current parenting difficulties and other pre-selected topics in a support group environment.

 

Need to Just Know Where to Sign Up? Check out the top parenting classes in your County!

Hillsborough County!

Here are the top parenting classes in Hillsborough County!

Apollo Beach – Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course

Dr. Jeannine JonesDr. Jeannine Jones has over 10 years of experience with Mental Health Counseling. She specializes in helping with live changing events, such as divorce.

Tampa – Parent Education & Family Stabilization Course

Brenda is an experienced divorce/family mediator, divorce coach, skilled teacher/facilitator. She specializes in high conflict divorce resolution, mediation and high conflict coparenting issues.

Tampa – FL Co-Parenting

LaSandra is a Mental HealthTherapist and Conflict Resolution Professional for the Empowerment Group. She specializes in mental health counseling and conflict resolution.

  • Provider: LaSandra McGrew, LCSW
  • Telephone: 813-689-3700
  • Website: FLCoParenting.com
  • Languages Offered: English
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None

Brandon – Co-Parenting Florida

Terrell Morrison is a  Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She’s currently engaged in community outreach, teaching, mental health counseling, as well as psychotherapy.

  • Provider: Terrell Morrison, LCSW and LaSandra McGrew, LCSW
  • Telephone: 813-689-3700
  • Website: CoParentingFlorida.com
  • Languages Offered: English, Spanish
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Reduced Fee

Temple Terrace – Surviving Divorce: A Guide for Parents

Rose is now interning for completion of her MFT license. She brings years of experience in Case Management and Group Facilitating. Rose is under supervision for her skilled work in therapeutic intervention.

  • Provider: Rose Medeiros, BA The Toby Centers/Kids Need Both, Inc.
  • Telephone: 1-888-310-6630 ext. 3
  • Languages Offered: English
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Reduced Fee

Tampa – A Happy Child Parenting Course

Danica Fields is the founder of Kids Need Both, Inc, a non-profit agency that offers state-approved co-parenting classes, supervised visitation and child exchange.

  • Provider: Danica Fields, M.Ed.
  • Telephone: 1-888-310-6630
  • Email: KidsNeedBoth.org
  • Languages Offered: English, Spanish, Other
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Reduced Fee

Tampa – A Positive Divorce Resolution

Rosmer Mena is a Clinical Social Work/Therapist who specializes in working with parents with children/teens with behavior issues, women experiencing domestic violence and any individual experiencing any mental or emotional distress.

  • Provider: Rosmer Mena, MSW, LCSW
  • Telephone: 813-702-1762 or 727-645-2856
  • Email: rmena@joyfulfamilytherapy.com
  • Website: joyfulfamilytherapy.com
  • Languages Offered: English, Spanish
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None

Tampa – Clases de divorcio y crianza en Española

The Family Therapy Center of Murcia is a private center with clinical activity and teacher specialized in the training of psychotherapists and in the orientation and treatment of problems and difficulties from a systemic approach relational.

  • Provider: Centro de Terapia Familiar
  • Telephone: 727-678-8856
  • Website: clasesdedivorcioenespanoltampa.com
  • Languages Offered: English, Spanish
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Accepted

Tampa – Parents for Life

Ryan is an Interim Director at Corporate College HCC. He specializes in adult education, employee training, and staff development.

  • Provider: Hillsborough Community College Institute for Corporate and Continuing Education
  • Contact: Ryan Buckthorpe
  • Telephone: 813-259-6010 or 866-253-7077
  • Email: ICCE@hccfl.edu
  • Website: tampatraining.com
  • Languages Offered: English
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Accepted

Tampa – Shielding Children from Conflict

Telephone: 813-684-5048
Languages Offered: English, Other
Correspondence Courses Offered: None

Brandon – Destin Family Solutions

Marietha Destin is a Marriage and Family Therapist with Destin Family Solutions, which specializes in child, adolescent, and adult issues including trauma, self-esteem, depression, grief/loss, and anxiety.

Tampa – A Parenting & Divorce Course Education Programs

Since 1990, Education Programs has helped hundreds of thousands of couples make the transition to effective co-parenting through our instructor-led live classes and our online classes.

Temple Terrace – A Happy Child Parenting Course

A Happy Child Parenting Course is a group class led by Danica Fields. This 4-hour course is not only for married parents, but also for unmarried parents seeking to establish custody. KidsNeedBoth.org also offers parenting class online.

  • Provider: Danica Fields, M.Ed.
  • Telephone: 1-888-310-6630
  • Website: KidsNeedBoth.org
  • Languages Offered: English, Spanish, Other
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Accepted

Plant City – A Happy Child Parenting Course

A Happy Child Parenting Course is a group class led by Danica Fields. This 4-hour parent education program is targeted towards parents seeking divorce who have minor children.

  • Provider: Danica Fields, M.Ed.
  • Telephone: 1-888-310-6630
  • Website: KidsNeedBoth.org
  • Languages Offered: English, Spanish, Other
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Accepted

Tampa – The Interventions Parenting Education and Family Stabilization Course

Gordon Pilet is a Consultant to Interventions Enterprises Inc. He is a Court Certified Expert in Domestic Violence and Anger, State Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified SeniorSupervisor, and Licensed Therapist.

  • Provider: Interventions Enterprises, Inc., Gordon A. Pilet, Ph.D., LCSW
  • Telephone: 813-933-8865
  • Email: drpilet@interventionsinc.com
  • Website: interventionsinc.com
  • Languages Offered: English
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Accepted

Pinellas and Pasco County

Near Pinellas and Pasco County? Here are parenting classes available for divorcing and indigent parents:

Odessa – Center for Family Enrichment

Thomas A. Mowrey is the founder of Center for Family Enrichment and currently specializing in Counseling and Human Relations. The Center also offers Florida parenting class online for divorcing parents.

St. Petersburg – Separation and Divorce: A Child’s Point of View

SPC’s Lifelong Learning classes reach out to a community of learners of all ages and provide access to opportunities for intellectual and personal growth.

  • Provider: St. Petersburg College
  • Telephone: 727-341-3000 or 727-341-4445
  • Email: lifelong@spcollege.edu
  • Website: go.spcollege.edu/lifelong
  • Languages Offered: English, Spanish
  • Correspondence Courses Available: English, Spanish
  • Indigent Status: Accepted

Holiday – A Parenting & Divorce Course Education Programs

The A Parenting & Divorce Course Education Programs offer Court Ordered Parenting Classes for divorcing couples, Food Safety Training, and Food Service Manager Training and Certifications.

Clearwater – Clases de divorcio y crianza en Española

The  Family Therapy Center of Murcia’s divorce class is available for Florida parents seeking professional support in this difficult time.

  • Provider: Centro de Terapia Familiar
  • Telephone: 727-678-8856
  • Website: clasesdedivorcioenespanoltampa.com
  • Languages Offered: English, Spanish
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Accepted

Clearwater – A Positive Divorce Resolution

The Joyful Family Therapy is a mental health service led by Rosmer Mena, a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, and a Therapeutic Life Coach.

St. Petersburg – Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course

Dr. Kim E. Costello is a  has over twenty years of experience as a therapist and counselor. In that time, she has helped hundreds of individuals, couples, and families through major changes in their lives.

  • Provider: The Costello Center, Kim Costello
  • Telephone: (727) 345-2667
  • Email: info@thecostellocenter.com
  • Website: thecostellocenter.com
  • Languages Offered: English
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Reduced Fee

New Port Richey – A Positive Divorce Resolution

Darlene Brower is a Certified Family Mediator and Owner at Helping Hands Document and Mediation. She specializes in mediation and conflict resolution.

  • Provider: Darlene Brower, MS
  • Telephone: 727-755-4046
  • Email: Hhdmservices528@gmail.com
  • Website: positiveparentingclassesforflorida.com
  • Languages Offered: English, Spanish, Other
  • Correspondence Courses Available: English, Spanish, Other
  • Indigent Status: Reduced Fee

Palm Harbor – A Positive Divorce Resolution A Positive Divorce Resolution

New Port Richey – Divorce & Its Impact on Children

Dr. Timothy L. Beard is the Vice – President For Student Development and Enrollment Management at Pasco-Hernando Community College.

  • Provider: Pasco Hernando State College, Continuing Education
  • Contact: Timothy L. Beard
  • Telephone: 1-877-TRY-PHCC (879-7422)
  • Languages Offered: English
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Not Accepted

Dade City – Divorce & Its Impact on Children

This 4-hour divorce parenting class led by Dr. Timothy L. Beard focuses on parenting and childcare for parents seeking for divorce.

  • Provider: Pasco Hernando State College, Continuing Education
  • Contact: Timothy L. Beard
  • Telephone: 1-877-TRY-PHCC (879-7422)
  • Languages Offered: English
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Not Accepted

Brooksville – Divorce & Its Impact on Children

  • Provider: Pasco Hernando State College, Continuing Education
  • Contact: Timothy L. Beard
  • Telephone: 1-877-TRY-PHCC (879-7422)
  • Languages Offered: English
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Not Accepted

Spring Hill – Divorce & Its Impact on Children

  • Provider: Pasco Hernando State College, Continuing Education
  • Contact: Timothy L. Beard
  • Telephone: 1-877-TRY-PHCC (879-7422)
  • Languages Offered: English
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Not Accepted

Wesley Chapel – Divorce & Its Impact on Children

  • Provider: Pasco Hernando State College, Continuing Education
  • Telephone: 1-877-TRY-PHCC (879-7422)
  • Languages Offered: English
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Not Accepted

Wesley Chapel – Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course (Divorce or Separation)

Phil Thomas is a motivational speaker and educator has been a Manager, academic advisor/counselor, instructor, and trainer for more than 20 years.

Wesley Chapel – Florida Parent Concepts

Todd B. Jeter is a Counselor – Addiction (Substance Use Disorder) based out of Eugene, Oregon and his medical specialization is Addiction Counseling.

  • Provider: Todd Jeter, MSW
  • Telephone: 813-713-9402
  • Website: FloridaParentConcepts.com
  • Languages Offered: English, Spanish
  • Correspondence Courses Offered: None
  • Indigent Status: Reduced Fee

 

Customer Rating Customer Rating
Rated 5.0 / 5.0 based on 8 ratings for Best Lawyers services across the globe.
Tap to call us