Florida Form 12.904a

Petition for Support Unconnected with Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Children

Form 12.904a Petition for Support Unconnected with Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren). Web-powered form 12.904(a) with Instructions and Procedures.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA SUPREME COURT APPROVED FAMILY LAW FORM 12.904(a),

PETITION FOR SUPPORT UNCONNECTED WITH DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE WITH DEPENDENT OR MINOR CHILDREN

When should this form be used?

This form may be used to ask the court to enter a support order if you and your spouse are separated, and your spouse has the ability to contribute to you and your minor child(ren), but has failed to do so.

Form 12.904a Instructions

You can only use this form if a dissolution of marriage has not been filed and the child(ren) live primarily with you.

If a petition for dissolution of marriage has been filed, you should file a Motion for Temporary Support with Dependent or Minor Child(ren), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.947(a), instead of using this petition.

Also, if you are requesting that an order be entered for you to pay support to your spouse, you should not file this form.

This petition cannot address the issues of property, debts, custody, or visitation. It only deals with alimony and child support.

This form should be typed or printed in black ink. After completing this form, you should sign the form before a notary public or deputy clerk.

You should file the original with the clerk of the circuit court in the county where you live and keep a copy for your records.

Download Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.904a

What should I do next?

For your case to proceed, you must properly notify the other party in your case of the petition. If you know where he or she lives, you should use personal service.

If you absolutely do not know where he or she lives, you may use constructive service.

You may also be able to use constructive service if the other party resides in another state or country.

However, if constructive service is used, other than granting a divorce, the court may only grant limited relief.

For more information on constructive service, see Notice of Action for Dissolution of Marriage, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.913(a), and Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.913(b).

If you need to use constructive service, use the Notice of Action for Dissolution of Marriage, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.913(a), after striking through “for Dissolution of Marriage” and inserting “for Support Unconnected with Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren).”

If the other party is in the military service of the United States, additional steps for service may be required. See, for example, Memorandum for Certificate of Military Service, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.912(a).

In sum, the law regarding constructive service and service on an individual in the military service is very complex and you may wish to consult an attorney regarding these issues.

If personal service is used, the other party has 20 days to answer after being served with your petition.

Your case will then generally proceed in one of the following three ways:

DEFAULT... If after 20 days, no answer has been filed, you may file a Motion for Default, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.922(a), with the clerk of court. Then, if you have filed all of the required papers, you may call the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant to set a final hearing.

You must notify the other party of the hearing by using a Notice of Hearing (General), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.923, or other appropriate notice of hearing form.

UNCONTESTED... If the respondent files an answer that agrees with everything in your petition or an answer and waiver, and you have complied with mandatory disclosure and filed all of the required papers, you may call the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant to set a final hearing.

You must notify the other party of the hearing by using a Notice of Hearing (General), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.923, or other appropriate notice of hearing form.

CONTESTED... If the respondent files an answer or an answer and counterpetition, which disagrees with or denies anything in your petition, and you are unable to settle the disputed issues, you should file a Notice for Trial, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.924, after you have complied with mandatory disclosure and filed all of the required papers.

Some circuits may require the completion of mediation before a final hearing may be set. Then you should contact the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant for instructions on how to set your case for trial (final hearing).

If the respondent files an answer and counterpetition, you should answer the counterpetition within 20 days using an Answer to Counterpetition, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.903(d).

Where can I look for more information?

Before proceeding, you should read “General Information for Self-Represented Litigants” found at the beginning of these forms. The words that are in “bold underline” in these instructions are defined there. For further information, see section 61.09, Florida Statutes.

Special notes...

If you do not have the money to pay the filing fee, you may obtain an Application for Determination of Civil Indigent Status from the clerk, fill it out, and the clerk will determine whether you are eligible to have filing fees deferred.

With this form you must also file the following:

• Notice of Social Security Number, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(j).

• Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(d), if the case involves child(ren).

• Family Law Financial Affidavit, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.902(b) or (c). (This must be filed within 45 days of service of the petition on the respondent, if not filed at the time of the petition.)

• Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.932.

This must be filed within 45 days of service of the petition on the respondent, if not filed at the time of the petition, unless you and the other party have agreed not to exchange these documents.

• Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.902(e), if you are asking that child support be ordered in the final judgment. (If you do not know the other party’s income, you may file this worksheet after his or her financial affidavit has been served on you.)

Child Support...

The court may order one parent to pay child support to assist the other parent in meeting the child(ren)’s material needs. Both parents are required to provide financial support, but one parent may be ordered to pay a portion of his or her support for the child(ren) to the other parent.

Florida has adopted guidelines for determining the amount of child support to be paid. These guidelines are based on the combined income of both parents and take into account the financial contributions of both parents.

You must file a Family Law Financial Affidavit, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.902(b) or (c), and your spouse will be required to do the same.

From your financial affidavits, you should be able to calculate the amount of child support that should be paid using the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.902(e).

Because the child support guidelines take several factors into consideration, change over time, and vary from state to state, your child support obligation may be more or less than that of other people in seemingly similar situations.

Temporary Relief...

If you need temporary relief regarding child support or temporary alimony, you may file a Motion for Temporary Support with Dependent or Minor Child(ren), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.947(a). For more information, see the instructions for that form.

Final Judgment Form...

These family law forms contain a Final Judgment of Support Unconnected with Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.994(a), which the judge may use if your case is contested.

You should check with the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant to see if you need to bring a final judgment with you to the hearing. If so, you should type or print the heading, including the circuit, county, case number, division, and the parties’ names, and leave the rest blank for the judge to complete at your hearing or trial.

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