Served Child Support Papers
by J. from Marlton, New Jersey
My ex husband is suing me for child support. He and the children reside in Florida. My residence is in NJ. I do not have the money for a lawyer. How do I go about responding to the documents I received from the courts.
In the documents provided, it gave me a one page copy of his financial affidavit. I simply do not know what to do.
Answer to Florida Child Support Question
Florida family law forms for pro se (self-represented) litigants can be found on the Florida Supreme Court's website
If the form you were served with is a Supplemental Petition to Modify, you can answer with the approved Answer to Supplemental Petition form 12.903(e)
However, I just looked at that site, and there is no form posted for an answer to a Petition for Child Support. Since there is no exact form, what you could do is create your own document.
Follow the formatting of the documents he served on you. All of the information at the top of the petition remains the same:
In the Circuit Court of the _________ Judicial Circuit,
In and For _______ County, Florida.
The case number, and the parties remains the same. If you are shown as the Respondent, then you remain the Respondent throughout the proceedings.
If his document is titled "Petition for Child Support" you would need to title yours "Answer to Petition for Child Support". Then go through his Petition item by item and answer each one. You can Affirm if you agree with the statement; or you can Deny if you disagree.
You don't have to add anything else.
If you want to Affirm in part; and Deny in part; you can do that, and then offer a minimal explanation of what you agree with in his statement and what you disagree with.
Then just finish it off at the end just like he did. Send a copy to him or his attorney if he has one AND the clerk of court. You also need to file a Financial Affidavit.
I'm not sure why his is only one page long, because the short form is longer than one page. If you earn less than $50,000. per year you need to file Florida Family Law Financial Affidavit (short form) 12.902(b).
Then you need to complete the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, form 12.902(e). It is cumbersome, somewhat confusing, but extremely important.
This worksheet can only be completed by using information form the financial affidavits of both parties. If you can, you should do it yourself, don't leave it to him or the judge. You want to know what you are up against.
Alternatively, you can use our Petition Preparer service to have all your documents professionally prepared. Just ask us for a free quote.
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