Child Custody Forms: Florida has an array of forms that deal with Florida child custody.
You've asked us to simplify the choices available into easy to understand categories and explanations to what is available.
This page is our attempt to simplify things for you.
You'll find the most important Florida child custody forms, including the Modification of Custody or Visitation forms, child custody papers, child custody laws, temporary custody forms and instructions, and Florida's parenting plan forms as well.
These Florida child custody and visitation forms should be used when you are asking the court to either change current court-ordered custody or visitation orders, or to have the court establish one. One important point to remember is that Florida now uses the term "time-sharing" to indicate custody and visitation.
We use these terms interchangeably here because most of us (regular people) still call it custody and visitation. We will continue to use the terms custody and visitation until you and our customers decide to stop using them.
Time-sharing is the term the courts now use to describe where and when the children spend time with their parents. In other words, child custody and visitation. Call us old school, that's OK with us. Time-sharing and parental responsibility are made part of an agreed upon parenting plan that is accepted by the court.
All divorces in Florida and any family law proceedings that require the establishment of custody and visitation between parents now require a Parenting Plan.
The Florida Courts provide three separate parenting plan forms: Parenting Plan, Long Distance Parenting, and the Safety-Focused Parenting Plan.
It's important to remember that these parenting plan forms are not intended to fit all situations.
Parents are encouraged to use the parenting plan that most fits their situations and customize it to an agreeable plan that works for both the adults and their children.
We have a more complete discussion of Florida's Parenting Plan Forms
including information on how to file and the factors the court considers
when approving or disapproving of a proposed parenting plan.
The Florida child custody and visitation form Supplemental Petition to Modify Parental Responsibility, Visitation or Parenting Plan Time Sharing Schedule and Other Relief, Form 12-905(a) should be used when you are asking the court to change current court-ordered custody or visitation arrangements.
The court can change an order granting shared parental responsibility, including a primary residential responsibility custody order if the judge finds that there has been a substantial change in the circumstances of the parties and the change is in the children's best interests.
A current child custody order may not be modified without a showing of a substantial, material, and unanticipated change in circumstances and a determination that the modification is in the best interests of the children.
Modifying an existing Child Custody & Visitation order is generally done by using a Supplemental Petition to Modify Child Custody, Form 12.905(a). Also see our Self Help Guide below.
When unmarried parents are involved, paternity must be established before child custody and visitation can be ordered and enforced. There are several ways that paternity can be legally established. The voluntary signing of the child's birth certificate at the hospital is the most common way for the legal establishment of paternity in Florida.
Another way to establish paternity is to have the court order scientific paternity testing. This procedure is handled through the Petition to Determine Paternity and for Related Relief (see below).
Once Paternity is established (through scientific paternity testing if necessary) then custody, visitation, time-sharing and parental responsibility can be established.
Have a look at our Florida Petition to Determine Paternity & Other Relief web-powered instructions page. These instruction pages are very popular with Pro Se filers. They make it so much easier for you to prepare your forms on your own.
Under Florida Statutes 751 an extended family member may petition the court for temporary custody of a minor child. This law allows a child’s grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, adult siblings, or step-parents (if the step-parent is still happily married to the parents) and other family members to petition the court for a temporary order granting custody.
The definition of "extended family member" is a relative within the third degree by blood or marriage to the parent. The Florida state courts have published a set of forms for use by pro se parties to petition the courts to grant temporary custody of minors by extended family members. You can find these forms on the Florida State Courts website under the title Temporary Concurrent Custody.
Some of the circumstances that the temporary custody and concurrent custody law addresses are the ability for extended family custodians to enroll the children in school, request medical records, consent to medical care for the children, request copies of official documents and records such as birth certificates, medical and dental records, and educational records.
We have a more complete discussion of Florida's Temporary or Concurrent Custody law including information on how to file the Petition for Temporary and Concurrent Custody on our Temporary Child Custody page.
The Self Help Guides' Modifying Child Custody & Visitation in Florida helps you navigate the court process and procedures once you file your documents with easy to follow checklists, links to websites, important addresses & phone numbers, and much more.
The Self Help Guide - Modifying Custody & Visitation - is designed to easily file the Supplemental Petition to Modify Custody & Visitation with all the required and supporting forms.
Our Petition Preparer Paralegal Service can have all your documents professionally prepared after a brief interview with our trained Florida Legal Document Specialists.
Your court papers will be in your hands and ready to file at the courthouse in as little as three days! We guarantee our work. Just ask us for a quote.