Monday, May 20, 2024

Frequently Asked Questions for Divorce Education Programs for Parents and Children

QWho must attend the divorce education classes?
If  you have filed a petition for divorce, paternity or change in custody and have a child under the age of 18:

Both you and your spouse must attend a 4 hour parenting course to help separating and divorcing couples focus on what is in the best interest of their children and how to work more cooperatively with each other. However, you do not have to attend the course together with your spouse.

Additionally, if you have a child between the ages of 6 and 17:
Your child must attend a 3 ½ hour class for children of divorcing parents. This program helps children feel comfortable in sharing their thoughts and feelings about their parents' divorce through a variety of activities, such as drawing, role playing and creative writing, appropriately developed for different age groups.
QWhat will happen if parents or their children do not attend the divorce education classes?
AThe Judge may choose not to grant the divorce or may hold a parent in contempt of court. 
QWhere can I get details on class schedules and registration?

When you file for divorce at the Clerk's Office in one of Miami-Dade County's branch courts or the Courthouse Center, you will be given a packet which includes a wide range of locations and class schedules, including nights and weekends, applications for registration and other information, such as how to register by phone, fax, mail or on the Internet. The following three organizations have been certified by the Court to provide divorce education courses: 


Parents' and Children's Courses:

To view a list of DCF approved Parent Education & Family Stabilization Courses in Miami-Dade County, please visit the DCF website here and select the 11th Circuit:

QHow much do the classes cost?

Parents and children's classes range between $18.00 and $39.00 each. Fees will be waived for persons whose income is below the federal poverty guidelines.

QWhat do parents and their children learn from these classes?

Parents learn about how divorce or separation affects their children, how to help them adjust to the changes, and their responsibility as a "Parent Forever". The children's classes help them learn how to cope with their parent's divorce and encourage them to share their feelings with others in their age group.

QWho is allowed to attend the parenting course with me? Can I sit in on the class my child is taking?

Children are not allowed to attend the parenting course. However, significant others, grandparents and step parents are encouraged to attend because they may be making decisions that affect the child. In the children's course, the parent who brings the child to class is invited to sit in on the last 30 minutes of the 3 ½ hour program to discuss divorce-related issues with the group. If there is no restraining order, the other parent may also attend this part of this session. It is therefore important to schedule the parent's course at a different time than the children's class. 

QMy divorce was filed in Miami-Dade County, but I don't live there. Do I have to take the parenting course?

If you live in Florida, the Court requires that you attend one of the many approved parent education programs throughout the State. You may call the local Clerk of Court in your county for parenting class information. If you live outside of Florida and are unable to find an approved program that meets Florida's requirements, you may take a correspondence course by mail. Further information can be found in the packet you will receive from the Clerk's Office when your divorce is filed.

QWhat languages are the classes offered in?

Divorce education courses in Miami-Dade County are offered in English and Spanish.

QWho do I call if I have other questions?

You may call the Family Operations Division at (305) 349-5561.

QHow do persons with disabilities make arrangements for special services needed to attend the classes? 

The Court has certified several courses which meet Florida's requirements for divorce education classes and offer special services for persons with disabilities. You may call the organization directly to make arrangements or indicate the special services needed on the application provided in your information packet.

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