For most types of family law actions, a party needs to pay a fee to the clerk of the court when he or she files a petition. Current filing fees for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit (Hillsborough County) for common family law matters are as follows:
Below is a video from ABC Action News which follows one family through Pinellas County’s Seventh Annual Day of Adoption (November 2010):
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (known as the “UCCJEA”) is the body of law that provides Florida courts with authority to rule on issues of child custody. In virtually every family law proceeding that involves child custody–including divorce, paternity, and relocation–each party is required to file an affidavit that contains certain information and demonstrates to the court that it has jurisdiction over the child. This UCCJEA affidavit must include the following information:
- The current address of the child;
- Each address at which the child has lived during the past five years;
Expedited enforcement of child custody determination.—
(1)A petition under ss. 61.524-61.540 must be verified. Certified copies of all orders sought to be enforced and of any order confirming registration must be attached to the petition. A copy of a certified copy of an order may be attached instead of the original.
(2)A petition for enforcement of a child custody determination must state:
(a)Whether the court that issued the determination identified the jurisdictional basis it relied upon in exercising jurisdiction and, if so, specify the basis;
(b)Whether the determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court whose decision must be enforced under this part and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding;
(c)Whether any proceeding has been commenced that could affect the current proceeding, including proceedings relating to domestic violence, protective orders, termination of parental rights, and adoptions and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding;
(d)The present physical address of the child and the respondent, if known;
(e)Whether relief in addition to the immediate physical custody of the child and attorney’s fees is sought, including a request for assistance from law enforcement officers and, if so, the relief sought; and
(f)If the child custody determination has been registered and confirmed under s. 61.528, the date and place of registration.
(3)Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall issue an order directing the respondent to appear in person with or without the child at a hearing and may enter any order necessary to ensure the safety of the parties and the child. The hearing must be held on the next judicial day after service of the order unless that date is impossible. In that event, the court shall hold the hearing on the first judicial day possible. The court may extend the date of the hearing at the request of the petitioner.
(4)An order issued under subsection (3) must state the time and place of the hearing and advise the respondent that at the hearing the court will order that the petitioner may take immediate physical custody of the child and the payment of fees, costs, and expenses under s. 61.535 and may schedule a hearing to determine whether further relief is appropriate, unless the respondent appears and establishes that:
(a)The child custody determination has not been registered and confirmed under s. 61.528 and that:
1.The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under ss. 61.514-61.523;
2.The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under ss. 61.514-61.523; or
3.The respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance with the standards of s. 61.509 in the proceedings before the court that issued the order for which enforcement is sought; or
(b)The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought was registered and confirmed under s. 61.528, but has been vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under ss. 61.514-61.523.
History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.
Information to be submitted to the court.—
(1)Subject to Florida law providing for the confidentiality of procedures, addresses, and other identifying information in a child custody proceeding, each party, in its first pleading or in an attached affidavit, shall give information, if reasonably ascertainable, under oath as to the child’s present address or whereabouts, the places where the child has lived during the last 5 years, and the names and present addresses of the persons with whom the child has lived during that period. The pleading or affidavit must state whether the party:
(a)Has participated, as a party or witness or in any other capacity, in any other proceeding concerning the custody of or visitation with the child and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the date of the child custody determination, if any;
(b)Knows of any proceeding that could affect the current proceeding, including proceedings for enforcement and proceedings relating to domestic violence, protective orders, termination of parental rights, and adoptions and, if so, identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding; and
(c)Knows the names and addresses of any person not a party to the proceeding who has physical custody of the child or claims rights of legal custody or physical custody of, or visitation with, the child and, if so, the names and addresses of those persons.
(2)If the information required by subsection (1) is not furnished, the court, upon motion of a party or its own motion, may stay the proceeding until the information is furnished.
(3)If the declaration as to any of the items described in paragraphs (1)(a)-(c) is in the affirmative, the declarant shall give additional information under oath as required by the court. The court may examine the parties under oath as to details of the information furnished and other matters pertinent to the court’s jurisdiction and the disposition of the case.
(4)Each party has a continuing duty to inform the court of any proceeding in this or any other state which could affect the current proceeding.
History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.
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