Florida Form 12.983a

Petition to Determine Paternity & Related Relief

Florida Form 12.983a Petition to Determine Paternity and for Related Relief, Web-Powered Instructions, Forms, and Help.

Form 12.983(a) Instructions

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA SUPREME COURT APPROVED FAMILY LAW FORM 12.983(a), PETITION TO DETERMINE PATERNITY AND FOR RELATED RELIEF

When should this form be used?

Form 12.983a should be used by a birth mother or father to ask the court to establish paternity, custody, visitation, and/or child support of a minor child or children.

This means that you are trying to legally establish who is the father of the child(ren). Form 12.983a should be typed or printed in black ink.



Petition to Determine Paternity & Related Relief

After completing this form, you should sign form 12.983(a) before a notary public or deputy clerk.

You should file the original form 12.983a 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 12.983a from the Florida State Court's website.

The newest form is no longer available as an interactive fillable PDF. So we made our own...


Petition to Determine Paternity and for Related Relief
Interactive Fillable Form 12.983(a) • October, 2011 ($4.95)
Buy Now

What should I do next?

For your case to proceed, you must properly notify the respondent of the form 12.983a 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. However, if constructive service is used, the court may only grant limited relief.

You should seek legal advice on constructive service in a form 12.983a paternity case.

For more information see chapter 49, Florida Statutes, or you may contact Child Support Enforcement at the Florida Department of Revenue if you need assistance with your case.

If personal service is used, the respondent has 20 days to answer after being served with your form 12.983a petition.

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

DEFAULT... If after 20 days, no answer to form 12.983a 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 form 12.983a 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 form 12.983a 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, completed the scientific paternity testing, if necessary, and filed all of the required papers.

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 to your form 12.983a petition, you should answer the counterpetition within 20 days using an Answer to Counterpetition, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.983(d).

Where can I look for more information?

Before proceeding with your form 12.983a Petition to Determine Paternity and for Related Relief, you should read General Information for Self-Represented Litigants found at the beginning of these forms.

Download General Information for Self-represented Litigants.

The words that are in “bold underline” in these instructions are defined there. For further information on Florida Paternity and form 12.983a, see chapter 61, Florida Statutes.

Special notes (form 12.983a)

If you do not have the money to pay the filing fee for form 12.983a, you may obtain an Application for Determination of Civil Indigent Status, fill it out, and the clerk will determine whether you are eligible to have filing fees deferred.

More than one child of the same alleged father may be listed on a single form 12.983a petition.

However, if you are filing a paternity action involving more than one possible father, a separate form 12.983a petition must be filed for each alleged father.

If the respondent files an answer denying that the person named in the form 12.983a petition is the child(ren)’s father, one of you should file a Motion for Scientific Paternity Testing, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.983(e).

This is used to ask the court to order a scientific test to determine who is the children’s father.

If the father signed papers at the hospital acknowledging that he was the father, paternity was established as a matter of law. This should be checked on page 2, section 9a on this form.

If the paternity of a child who was conceived or born during a marriage is at issue, the court may appoint a guardian ad-litem to assist the court in this matter and to protect the rights of child.

With this form 12.983a petition, you must file the following and provide a copy to the other party:

• Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(d).

• 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 (c). (This must be filed within 45 days if not filed with the petition.)

• Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.932. (This must be filed within 45 days, if not filed with 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 do not know the other party’s income, you may file this worksheet after his or her financial affidavit has been filed.)

Child Custody

The judge will decide the parenting arrangements based on the child(ren)’s best interests. Regardless of whether there is an agreement between the parties, the court reserves jurisdiction to modify issues relating to minor or dependent child(ren).

The judge may request a parenting evaluation 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 child(ren) are being served. For more information, you may consult sections 61.401–61.405, Florida Statutes.

Listed below are some terms with which you should become familiar before completing your form 12.983a 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 • Rotating Custody • Primary residence • Secondary Residential Responsibility • Reasonable visitation • Specified visitation • Supervised visitation • No contact

Many circuits require that parents of a minor or dependent children who are involved in divorce or paternity actions attend a parenting course and/or mediation before being allowed to schedule a final hearing.

You should check with your local clerk of court’s office, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant for more information on the parenting course and mediation requirements in your area.

Florida Child Support

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.

If you are requesting custody or primary residential responsibility for one or more children, you should request child support in your form 12.983a petition.

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 should file a financial affidavit, and the other parent 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.

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.

Final Judgments (form 12.983a)

These family law forms contain a Final Judgment of Paternity, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.983(g), which the judge may use.

You should check with the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant to see if you need to bring it 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.

Remember, a person who is NOT an attorney is called a nonlawyer. If a nonlawyer helps you fill out these forms, that person must give you a copy of a Disclosure from Nonlawyer, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.900(a), before he or she helps you.

A nonlawyer helping you fill out these forms also must put his or her name, address, and telephone number on the bottom of the last page of every form he or she helps you complete.

Sponsored Advertisements:

Modifying Child Custody & Visitation in Florida

Florida Court Forms Self Help GuidesThe 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 and all the required and supporting forms.

Read more...

Affordable Legal Document Preparation Services:

Florida Court Forms' Petition Preparer Service
Have all your documents court-ready at a price you can afford.

Legal Document Specialist

Our Petition Preparer Service can have all your documents professionally prepared after a brief telephone interview with our trained Florida Legal Document Specialists.

Your documents will be in your hands and ready to file at the courthouse in as little as three days! We guarantee our work.

Call us toll free: (800) 868-3010



You Are Here: Home > Custody Forms > Form 12.983a

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.