If you are divorcing or have a child custody matter, you should consider going to a mediator since it is significantly less expensive than each spouse/parent hiring an attorney. As a mediator, I can assist you in settling the matter and during the process I will (i) develop a settlement agreement and a parenting plan; (ii) perform child support calculations; and (iii) assist each spouse in completing all the necessary court forms. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (239) 631-6755.
Florida Parenting Classes
Like many states, Florida also mandates divorcing spouses with minor children to attend a four-hour parenting course: Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course. The course covers such topics as shared child-rearing, children’s emotions during divorce, unique family dynamics, financial obligations and child abuse and neglect.
The course must be completed prior to the court finalizing the divorce. However, it is recommended that the parents complete the course early in the divorce process. The course must be approved by the Florida Department of Children and Families. There are numerous providers that offer the course.
The course generally costs between $20 and $40 and is offered in a classroom setting or online. In-class courses are generally more expensive, but are often recommended, as they offer parents an opportunity to ask questions and listen to other parents’ unique experiences.
Online courses may be preferable for those spouses that cannot attend the full four-hour block of instruction at one time. Online courses provide the flexibility of learning at an individual’s own pace that is manageable based on a parent’s daily schedule. A parent can log off whenever necessary and the time will be automatically logged.
If you are interested in taking the course in a classroom setting, the following link provides class dates, locations, and registration information throughout Florida with a search by county feature: http://parentinganddivorce.educationprograms.com/Parents-Children-Divorce-Classes-Florida.php?SiteCounty
If you are interested in taking the course online, the following link is a Florida Department of Children and Families listing of approved providers of the course, along with contact information for registration: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/childwelfare/docs/ParentEducationAndFamilyStabilization.pdf
If you do not know which judicial circuit your county is in, the following link provides a map of Florida illustrating which judicial circuit each county is in: http://www.floridamediators.org/CircuitMap.html