When a Coral Springs couple with children opts for divorce, the court may encourage the parents to attend parenting courses in the interest of equipping the separating couple to move forward with sharing child custody. Parenting classes generally do not focus on teaching the separating spouses to maintain a relationship with each other. Instead, these courses emphasize co-parenting, which is aimed at nurturing the relationship the child has with each parent. Though courses differ by location, the goal is to help parents in the various ways they may struggle while attempting to co-parent throughout the divorce process.
Why a Court May Order Parenting Classes
While courts often order divorcing parents to attend courses to help them learn co-parenting skills, there are other situations in which classes may be required. If the court believes a child may be at risk when in the custody of one or both of its parents, the parent in question may be required to take classes. Examples include individuals who have been charged with abuse or neglect and those who are perceived by the court to lack general parenting skills. Courses that are intended to help parents who have been charged with child abuse or neglect typically focus on safe and age-appropriate ways of disciplining and healthy, effective anger management in addition to developing other day-to-day parenting skills. Classes that are required to be completed by both parents before the court will issue a judgment are called mandatory parenting classes. Courses that must be completed by prospective adoptive and foster parents are also mandatory classes. These courses seek to address the issues that often arise when parents are caring for a non-biological child, including disability and history of abuse or neglect.
Choosing a parenting class
When a court orders parenting classes, it will typically provide a list of approved course providers. If the court does not provide a list, parents should check with the local clerk for additional guidance prior to choosing a class. Doing so will ensure the course meets the court's requirements. Upon finishing the required classes, parents will need to submit a certificate of completion to the court. In some instances, the course provider may submit the certificate to the court on the client's behalf; therefore, class attendees should verify the course provider's policy prior to completion.
Some jurisdictions now offer parents the option of taking classes online. Online courses are convenient for individuals who are unable to attend onsite classes or those who have major scheduling constraints. These classes may be completed privately at the attendee's desired pace; they can be accessed from virtually any computer that has an internet connection. If the court has not expressly stated that online courses are acceptable, a parent who wishes to take an online course may submit the Web address and course information to the court to determine whether the course meets the court's requirements. If the court does not approve the online course, the parent will be required to choose a different course that is acceptable to the court. Individuals may also consult their child custody and visitation attorney when choosing a course to help ensure proper compliance in accordance with Coral Springs laws.
Although some may view taking classes to be a cumbersome obstacle, court-ordered parenting courses should be viewed as a necessity for creating and growing a healthy relationship between a child and both parents. Therefore, parents should take heed if the court decides to require classes in the best interest of the children. Failure to comply with the court's orders can prolong or delay divorce proceedings or even jeopardize a parent's legal right to have custody with his or her child. Moreover, a contentious divorce or limited interaction with a parent is likely to negatively impact the child. Every loving parent wants what is best for his or her child; therefore, complying with a court order benefits the entire family.