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If you plan to divorce, plan on taking a parenting class as well

If you have minor children, these two things cannot go without each other. We're talking about divorce and parenting classes. The state of Florida requires that all parents of minor children who are divorcing take a four-hour parenting class known formally as a Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course.

The purpose of this course is to educate parents on the effects of divorce on children. The course hopes to provide parents with basic information about legal matters, parenting skills and responsibilities, and child abuse and neglect.

Each parent has to take the class, but the state gives them various options for doing so. The state of Florida has published a list of providers that offer the course either in person or online. It's important that parents take the course from court-approved providers in order for it to be valid. The course will generally be provided for a fee.

According to state law, the course must be completed within 45 days of the filing of the petition or of being served the petition. Each parent will need to provide proof that they took the course before a final judgment is entered. In rare circumstances, the law does allow a court to excuse a parent from taking the course if it is "for good cause."

Finally, for parents who loath the idea of having to take a parenting class with their soon-to-be-ex, there's no pressure - the court does not require any parents to take the course together. In fact, if there is evidence of domestic abuse in the relationship, the court may actually prohibit the parents from taking the course together.

The state believes that parents are more likely to think about the best interests of their children if the court provides them with the basic information provided in these courses.

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