Essential Guide: Lakeland, FL Parenting Course for Divorce

Divorce can be a difficult journey, especially when children are involved. In Lakeland, Florida, having the right information can make this process smoother. This article will guide you through family courts, filing for divorce, the parenting course for divorce, steps after completing the class, and local resources for divorcing parents. Our Divorce Parenting Class stands out as the best option for fulfilling the mandatory requirement in Florida.

Lakeland FL Parenting Course for Divorce

Key Takeaways

  • Filing for Divorce: Involves several steps, including residency requirements, filing forms, serving your spouse, and attending a final hearing.
  • Parenting Course Requirement: Completing a Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course is mandatory for divorcing parents with minor children in Florida.
  • Divorce Parenting Class: Convenient, affordable, and designed to meet state requirements while providing valuable insights for effective co-parenting.
  • Post-Class Steps: After completing the class, ensure you obtain and submit your certificate, implement the strategies learned, and consider additional support if needed.
  • Local Resources: Utilize local resources in Lakeland for counseling, legal aid, and family support during your divorce process. The parenting course for divorce can help make this transition smoother for you and your children.

How to File for Divorce in Lakeland, FL

Filing for divorce in Lakeland involves several steps. Here’s a simplified guide to help you through the process:

  1. Meet Residency Requirements: Either you or your spouse must have lived in Florida for at least six months before filing.
  2. Fill Out Forms: Obtain the necessary forms from the Polk County Clerk of Court. These forms include a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Financial Affidavit, and Summons.
  3. File the Petition: Submit your completed forms to the Polk County Courthouse. You can do this in person or electronically. There is a filing fee, but fee waivers are available for those who qualify.
  4. Serve Your Spouse: After filing, you must serve your spouse with divorce papers. This can be done through a process server or sheriff’s office.
  5. Respond to the Petition: Your spouse has 20 days to respond. If they do not, you may proceed with a default judgment.
  6. Attend Mediation: In many cases, mediation is required to resolve disputes regarding children, property, and finances.
  7. Parenting Class Requirement: Both parents must complete a Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course. Our recommended course is Divorce Parenting Class, which is a parenting course for divorce optimized for working parents.
  8. Final Hearing: If all issues are resolved, you can schedule a final hearing. If not, a trial will be set.

Family Courts in Lakeland and Surrounding Counties

Lakeland, situated in Polk County, is home to several family courts that handle divorce cases. Here’s a quick overview of the courts and their contact information:

These courts will be your primary points of contact for filing your divorce paperwork and attending hearings.

Information About the Parenting Course for Divorce

In Florida, divorcing parents with minor children must complete a Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course. This class helps parents understand the effects of divorce on children and provides strategies for co-parenting effectively.

What You Will Learn in the Class

  • Impact of Divorce on Children: Understand how divorce affects children of different ages and how to minimize the negative effects.
  • Effective Co-Parenting: Learn communication strategies and conflict resolution skills to co-parent successfully.
  • Child Development: Gain insights into age-appropriate needs and behaviors to better support your children through the transition.
  • Legal and Financial Responsibilities: Understand your obligations and rights regarding child support and custody arrangements.

What to Do After Completing the Divorce Parenting Class

Once you have completed the Parenting Course for Divorce, there are several steps you should take:

  1. Obtain Your Certificate: Upon completion, you will receive a certificate. This document is essential as it proves you have met the state’s requirements.
  2. Submit Your Certificate to the Court: File your completion certificate with the court handling your divorce case. This can typically be done online or in person.
  3. Implement What You’ve Learned: Start applying the co-parenting strategies and insights from the class. This can help reduce conflict and make the transition easier for your children.
  4. Attend Additional Mediation or Counseling: If necessary, consider further mediation or counseling to address ongoing issues.
  5. Keep Records: Maintain records of all your court documents, class certificates, and any correspondence related to your divorce.

Local Resources for Divorcing Parents

Navigating divorce can be challenging, but Lakeland offers several resources to support parents and children during this time.

  • Family Foundations: Provides counseling and educational programs to support families through transitions.
    Phone: (904) 396-4846
  • Peace River Center: Offers resources and programs to support child development and family stability.
    Phone: (863) 519-0575
  • Heart of Florida Legal Aid Society: Provides free legal services to low-income residents, including assistance with family law matters.
    Phone: (863) 519-5663
  • The Salvation Army Domestic Violence Program: Offers support for victims of domestic violence, including emergency shelter and counseling.
    Phone: (863) 682-8179
  • NAMI Polk County: Provides support and resources for individuals dealing with mental health issues, which can be particularly helpful during divorce.
    Phone: (863) 236-9400


Divorce is never easy, but having the right information and resources can make a significant difference. Lakeland and its surrounding counties offer numerous support systems, from family courts to counseling services. Our Divorce Parenting Class is an essential step in this journey, equipping you with the knowledge and skills to co-parent effectively and support your children through this transition. This parenting course for divorce is a valuable tool for all divorcing parents.