Florida Form 12.950c Instructions
Florida Form 12.950c
Florida Form 12.950c Download this Florida divorce form with instructions, procedures, and links to other required forms.
You and/or your spouse must have lived in Florida for at least 6 months before filing for dissolution of marriage in Florida.
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.
For your case to proceed, you must properly notify your spouse and every other person entitled to access or time-sharing with the children of the petition.
“Other Person” means an individual who is not the parent but with whom the child resides pursuant to court order, or who has the right of access to, time-sharing with, or visitation with the children.
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 your spouse or the other person 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)(2), and Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.913(b).
If your spouse 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 respondent has 20 days to answer after being served with your petition. Your case will then generally proceed in one of the following three ways:
If after 20 days, your spouse has not filed an answer, 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 your spouse 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.
If your spouse 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 your spouse 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.
If your spouse 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. 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 your spouse 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).
Before proceeding, you should read “General Information for Self-Represented Litigants” found here.
The words that are in “bold underline” in these instructions are defined there. For further information, see chapter 61, Florida Statutes.
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.
If you want to keep your address confidential because you are the victim of sexual battery, aggravated child abuse, aggravated stalking, harassment, aggravated battery, or domestic violence, do not enter the address, telephone, and fax information at the bottom of this form. Instead, file a Request for Confidential Filing of Address, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.980(h).
• Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(d).
• 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 your spouse’s income, you may file this worksheet after his or her financial affidavit has been served on you.)
• Affidavit of Corroborating Witness, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(i) OR photocopy of current Florida driver’s license, Florida identification card, or voter’s registration card (issue date of copied document must be at least six months before date case is actually filed with the clerk of the circuit court).
• Marital Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(f)(1), if you and your spouse have reached an agreement on any or all of the issues.
• Notice of Social Security Number, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(j).
• Family Law Financial Affidavit, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.902(b) or Form 12.902(c). (This must be filed with the petition if the petitioner seeks to establish child support. Otherwise, it must be filed within 45 days of service of the petition on the respondent.)
• 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 your spouse have agreed not to exchange these documents.)
• Parenting Plan, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.995(a), Safety-Focused Parenting Plan, Form 12.995(b), or Relocation/Long-Distance Parenting Plan, Form 12.995(c). If the parents have reached an agreement, a signed and notarized Parenting Plan should be attached. If the parents have not reached an agreement, a proposed Parenting Plan may be filed.
A parent or other person seeking to relocate has a continuing duty to provide current and updated information required by the relocation statute when that information becomes known.
If you and your spouse are unable to agree on parenting arrangements and a time-sharing schedule, a judge will decide for you as part of establishing a Parenting Plan.
The judge will decide the parenting arrangements and time-sharing based on the children’s best interests. Regardless of whether there is an agreement, the court reserves jurisdiction to modify issues relating to the minor children.
The judge may request a parenting plan recommendation or appoint a guardian ad litem in your case. This means that a neutral person will review your situation and report to the judge concerning parenting issues.
The purpose of such intervention is to be sure that the best interests of the children are being served. For more information, you may consult section 61.13, Florida Statutes.
A parenting course must be completed prior to entry of the final judgment. You should contact the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant about requirements for parenting courses where you live.
Listed below are some terms with which you should become familiar before completing your petition. If you do not fully understand any of the terms below or their implications, you should speak with an attorney before going any further.
• Shared Parental Responsibility
• Sole Parental Responsibility
• Supervised Time-Sharing
• No contact
• Parenting Plan
• Parenting Plan Recommendation
• Time-Sharing Schedule
The court may order one parent to pay child support to assist the other parent in meeting the children’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 children 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 Form 12.902(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.
Alimony may be awarded to a spouse if the judge finds that he or she needs it and that the other spouse has the ability to pay it. If you want alimony, you must request it in writing in the original petition or counterpetition.
If you do not request alimony in writing before the final hearing, it is waived (you may not request it later). You may request either permanent alimony, lump sum alimony, or rehabilitative alimony.
Florida law requires an equitable distribution of marital assets and marital liabilities. “Equitable” does not necessarily mean “equal.” Many factors, including child support, time-sharing, and alimony awards, may lead the court to make an unequal (but still equitable) distribution of assets and liabilities.
Nonmarital assets and nonmarital liabilities are those assets and liabilities which the parties agree or the court determines belong to, or are the responsibility of, only one of the parties.
If the parties agree or the court finds an asset or liability to be nonmarital, the judge will not consider it when distributing marital assets and liabilities.
If you need temporary relief regarding temporary use of assets, temporary responsibility for liabilities, parental responsibility, relocation and time-sharing with children, temporary child support, or temporary alimony, you may file a Motion for Temporary Support and Time-Sharing with Dependent or Minor Children, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.947(a) and a Motion for Temporary Relocation, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law From 12.950(e). For more information, see the instructions for those forms.
If you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on any or all of the issues, you should file a Marital Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Children, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(f)(1).
Both of you must sign this agreement before a notary public or deputy clerk. Any issues on which you are unable to agree will be considered contested and settled by the judge at the final hearing.
In all cases involving minor or dependent children, a Parenting Plan shall be approved or established by the court. As you are seeking to relocate, the Parenting Plan must include a post-relocation schedule for access and time-sharing together with the necessary transportation arrangements.
If you and your spouse have reached an agreement, you should file a Parenting Plan, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.995(a), a Safety-Focused Parenting Plan, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.995(b), or a Relocation/Long-Distance Parenting Plan, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.995(c), which addresses the time-sharing schedule for the children. If you have not reached an agreement, a proposed Parenting Plan may be filed. If the parties are unable to agree, a Parenting Plan will be established by the court.
These family law forms contain a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Children, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.990(c)(1), which the judge may use if your case is contested. If you and your spouse reach an agreement on all of the issues, the judge may use a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Children (Uncontested), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.990(b)(1).
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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