Section 61.21, Florida Statutes

Parenting course authorized; fees; required attendance authorized; contempt.—

(1)LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS; PURPOSE.—It is the finding of the Legislature that:

(a)A large number of children experience the separation or divorce of their parents each year. Parental conflict related to divorce is a societal concern because children suffer potential short-term and long-term detrimental economic, emotional, and educational effects during this difficult period of family transition. This is particularly true when parents engage in lengthy legal conflict.

(b)Parents are more likely to consider the best interests of their children when determining parental arrangements if courts provide families with information regarding the process by which courts make decisions on issues affecting their children and suggestions as to how parents may ease the coming adjustments in family structure for their children. Read more

Section 61.20, Florida Statutes

Social investigation and recommendations regarding a parenting plan.—

(1)In any action where the parenting plan is at issue because the parents are unable to agree, the court may order a social investigation and study concerning all pertinent details relating to the child and each parent when such an investigation has not been done and the study therefrom provided to the court by the parties or when the court determines that the investigation and study that have been done are insufficient. The agency, staff, or person conducting the investigation and study ordered by the court pursuant to this section shall furnish the court and all parties of record in the proceeding a written study containing recommendations, including a written statement of facts found in the social investigation on which the recommendations are based. The court may consider the information contained in the study in making a decision on the parenting plan, and the technical rules of evidence do not exclude the study from consideration. Read more

Section 61.191, Florida Statutes

Application.—

(1)This act applies to all proceedings commenced on or after July 1, 1971. However, pending actions for divorce are deemed to have been commenced on the bases provided in s. 61.052, and evidence as to such bases for dissolution of marriage after July 1, 1971, shall be in compliance with this act.

(2)This act applies to all proceedings commenced after July 1, 1971, for the modification of a judgment or order entered prior to July 1, 1971.

(3)In any action or proceeding in which an appeal was pending or a new trial was ordered prior to July 1, 1971, the law in effect at the time of the order sustaining the appeal or the new trial governs the appeal, the new trial, and any subsequent trial or appeal.

For the latest version of this statute, visit http://www.leg.state.fl.us.

Section 61.19, Florida Statutes

Entry of judgment of dissolution of marriage, delay period.—No final judgment of dissolution of marriage may be entered until at least 20 days have elapsed from the date of filing the original petition for dissolution of marriage; but the court, on a showing that injustice would result from this delay, may enter a final judgment of dissolution of marriage at an earlier date.

For the latest version of this statute, visit http://www.leg.state.fl.us.

Section 61.183, Florida Statutes

Mediation of certain contested issues.—

(1)In any proceeding in which the issues of parental responsibility, primary residence, access to, visitation with, or support of a child are contested, the court may refer the parties to mediation in accordance with rules promulgated by the Supreme Court. In Title IV-D cases, any costs, including filing fees, recording fees, mediation costs, service of process fees, and other expenses incurred by the clerk of the circuit court, shall be assessed only against the nonprevailing obligor after the court makes a determination of the nonprevailing obligor’s ability to pay such costs and fees. Read more

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Section 61.1827, Florida Statutes

Identifying information concerning applicants for and recipients of child support services.—

(1)Any information that reveals the identity of applicants for or recipients of child support services, including the name, address, and telephone number of such persons, held by a non-Title IV-D county child support enforcement agency is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a) of Art. I of the State Constitution. The use or disclosure of such information by the non-Title IV-D county child support enforcement agency is limited to the purposes directly connected with:

(a)Any investigation, prosecution, or criminal or civil proceeding connected with the administration of any non-Title IV-D county child support enforcement program; Read more

Section 61.1826, Florida Statutes

Procurement of services for State Disbursement Unit and the non-Title IV-D component of the State Case Registry; contracts and cooperative agreements; penalties; withholding payment.—

(1)LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.—The Legislature finds that the clerks of court play a vital role, as essential participants in the establishment, modification, collection, and enforcement of child support, in securing the health, safety, and welfare of the children of this state. The Legislature further finds and declares that:

(a)It is in the state’s best interest to preserve the essential role of the clerks of court in disbursing child support payments and maintaining official records of child support orders entered by the courts of this state. Read more

Section 61.1825, Florida Statutes

State Case Registry.—

(1)The Department of Revenue or its agent shall operate and maintain a State Case Registry as provided by 42 U.S.C. s. 654A. The State Case Registry must contain records for:

(a)Each case in which services are being provided by the department as the state’s Title IV-D agency; and

(b)By October 1, 1998, each support order established or modified in the state on or after October 1, 1998, in which services are not being provided by the Title IV-D agency.The department shall maintain that part of the State Case Registry that includes support order information for Title IV-D cases on the department’s child support enforcement automated system. Read more

Section 61.1824, Florida Statutes

State Disbursement Unit.—

(1)The State Disbursement Unit is hereby created and shall be operated by the Department of Revenue or by a contractor responsible directly to the department. The State Disbursement Unit shall be responsible for the collection and disbursement of payments for:

(a)All support cases enforced by the department pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act; and

(b)All child support cases not being enforced by the department pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act in which the initial support order was issued in this state on or after January 1, 1994, and in which the obligor’s child support obligation is being paid through income deduction. Read more