One of the more highly publicized aspects of divorce is the impact the separation will have on the child of the couple. With so many studies reporting how much the ordeal will have on children after the divorce, several states have laws set to make the transition easier for all parties involved.
Florida is one of the few states that requires all parents with minor children to take a mandatory parenting course 45 days after the petition is filed. The total run time of this course is a minimum of 4 hours and covers several areas of the topic such as legal aspects, emotional impact, financial duties and relationship advice. While it is beneficial to learn to prepare yourself for the proceedings and your post-divorce life, it can serve as an inconvenience in an already stressful process to most. You should know about the various options out there to make this part of the divorce easier to accomplish.
The earlier, the better
Florida’s statutes recommend parents to sign up for these courses in the earliest stages of the dispute. While you may need more time to schedule it properly, getting this done earlier can be very beneficial for your case. Not only do you have the proper knowledge to make meetings on custody slightly easier, but you can spend more time focusing on other parts of the divorce. Similar to studying for a test for school, saving all your research until the last second makes the class far more strenuous than it needs to be.
The Florida Department of Children and Families also offers both online and local courses for divorcing parents to take before the litigation. Local classes may be easier to absorb the information for some, but an online course can make time organization a simpler task for those who are constantly traveling or spend too much time at a job with a computer. Make sure to check with the state and your attorney to ensure that the course you selected will count in the proceedings.
Go at your own pace
Both local and online courses offer flexibility with how a parent wants to approach it. Since the minimum required course time is 4 hours, it is enough where the spouse could choose to do it in one day or one hour per week. Taking it all at once may give you more time later down the road, but choosing to do it one hour at a time might be beneficial towards allowing you to absorb the information more. Whatever your priorities are in this scenario, the program can adhere to them.
While the course will increase your knowledge on the legal aspects of divorce and how it will affect your children, it will not answer all of your questions on the matter. An experienced family law attorney can answer any questions you have that the mandatory course was not able to answer to you can better prepare for litigation.