* IMPORTANT MESSAGE *
PLEASE READ MESSAGE BELOW BEFORE PROCEEDING! *
** NEW PROCEDURES FOR PRO SE (SELF HELP) LITIGANTS **
You must file Form “A” opens in a new window with the Clerk of Court located at the Downtown Civil Courthouse:
|Clerk of Court
301 N. Park Ave.
Sanford, FL 32771
|or||Clerk of Court
PO BOX 819
Sanford, FL 32772
Once received, the Clerk will forward Form “A” opens in a new window along with your court file to the Family Court Case Manager for review. You should receive a response within approximately Thirty business days. Click here to download Form “A” opens in a new window.
Before downloading any forms, please read all of the instructions below regarding procedures and use of these forms. It is highly advisable to consult with an attorney who will represent you and your interests If you wish to consult an attorney, call the Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service @ 1-800-342-8011. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be eligible for legal assistance if you live in Seminole County through Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society @ (407) 834-1660. Also you may consult Community Legal Services of Mid Florida (407) 322-8983 or visit them on the web address at www.clsmf.org opens in a new window.
PERSONS WHO ARE FILING FOR A DIVORCE WITH NO CHILDREN AND NO PROPERTY CAN SKIP TO THE FINAL JUDGMENT SECTION
The documents that you will need to file must be filed with the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court opens in a new window. The Seminole County clerk’s office is located in the county courthouse or a branch of the courthouse. Below are the documents in which you will need to file and a brief description of those documents.
The first thing you need to determine is whether you meet the “RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT” for filing for a divorce. The person filing for a divorce must have resided in the state for 6 months before the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed.
You can prove residency by filing a copy of your Florida Driver’s License or Voter Registration Card if it was issued more than 6 months before you filed for your divorce, or you can bring someone to your final hearing that you have known for that period of time that will testify that you meet the residency requirement or you can have that person file an:
Every case that is filed with the Clerk’s office is required to have a: CIVIL COVER SHEET opens in a new window
If you do not have dependent or minor children or real or personal property, you will need to file the:
If you do not have dependent or minor children, but you and your spouse do own either real or personal property, you will need to file the:
If you have dependent or minor children you will need to file a:
Once you file for your divorce, a copy of the documents must be served on your spouse.
HOWEVER, if you and your spouse agree on the divorce and all of the decisions involved in it, you spouse can file an: ANSWER AND WAIVER opens in a new window
If your spouse doesn’t file an Answer and Waiver, the PETITION FOR DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE AND ALL ACCOMPANYING DOCUMENTS will have to be personally served on him or her by a deputy sheriff or private process server.
If this is an Uncontested Dissolution Of Marriage and the Respondent waives notice by Summons; The Respondent will need to file an:
If you are unable to locate your spouse then you can proceed with “Constructive Service“. Where constructive service is used, the court is limited in what it can do beyond granting the divorce. In order to proceed you will need to file an:
The Notice of Action is signed by the Clerk of the Circuit Court. You are responsible for delivering a copy to a local newspaper in the County in which you filed for publication. The date which is placed in the Notice of Action by the Clerk of the Court, is the date your spouse or (Respondent) is given to file an Answer with the Clerk of the Court.
If you do not know where your spouse lives and there is a possibility that he or she may be serving in the United States military or U.S. Public Health Service, you will need to contact each of the military services and the Public Health Service.
To assist you, you may want to use a:
Fill out this form and mail one copy to each of the military offices at the addresses on the form, with a self addressed stamped envelope to be returned in. You may be charged a service fee by each military service branch for their response.
After you have received a verification of non military status from each branch, you will need to attach those verification‘s to a Non Military Affidavit.
If you have served your spouse and they have not filed a written response or “answer” to your petition within 20 days after being served, then you will also need to file a Non Military Affidavit: NON MILITARY AFFIDAVIT opens in a new window
If your spouse has been served, either by Sheriff or publication, and a written response has not been filed within the time period allowed (by Sheriff or process server, 20 days) (by publication, the date on the Notice of Action), you need to file a: MOTION FOR DEFAULT opens in a new window asking that a default be entered in the case.
If a DEFAULT opens in a new window is entered, the case can proceed without your spouse’s input, participation or cooperation.
NOTE: BEFORE YOU CAN OBTAIN THE DEFAULT YOU MUST FILE THE ORIGINAL SUMMONS AND PROOF OF SERVICE OR ORIGINAL PROOF OF PUBLICATION FROM THE NEWSPAPER IF THE NOTICE OF ACTION WAS PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSPAPER.
After the Default has been entered, you will need to obtain a hearing date by filing a: FORM A opens in a new window
Under the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, each party is required to provide the other party with copies of certain financial records and documents. However, you and your spouse can agree to waive the production of all documents required under the mandatory disclosure rules except for the financial affidavit. You cannot agree to waive the filing of financial affidavits. There are 2 different financial affidavits for you to choose from. Which one you need to file will depend on how much money you make.
If your gross income is less than $50,000 you will need to file the:
However, if your gross income is $50,000 or more you will need to file the:
Both you and your spouse will also need to file a:
The disclosure of your social security number is subject to the limitations set out on the face of the form.
AT THIS POINT THOSE PERSONS WHO ARE FILING FOR A DIVORCE WITH NO CHILDREN AND NO PROPERTY CAN SKIP TO THE FINAL JUDGMENT SECTION BY CLICKING HERE opens in a new window
If there is property involved or debts and the parties can reach an agreement as to those issues, then the parties can enter into a Marital Settlement Agreement.
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE DEPENDENT OR MINOR CHILDREN YOU WILL NEED TO FILE A:
IF YOU DO HAVE DEPENDENT OR MINOR CHILDREN YOU WILL NEED TO FILE A:
NOTE: BEFORE THE AGREEMENT IS COMPLETED YOU WILL NEED TO FILL OUT THE CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES WORKSHEET FIRST
If you have children then you will need to figure out what the child support amount is. Child support is money that is paid for the benefit and support of the minor child(ren). It is not paid for the benefit of the former spouse who is the primary residential parent. Since child support is paid for the benefit of the child, it cannot be waived by the parents.
To figure out what the child support obligation would be in your case, you will need a:
IF THE PARTIES ARE UNABLE TO REACH AN AGREEMENT, THEN YOUR CASE BECOMES “CONTESTED“.
Contested cases are heard by the court at trial. In order to set your case for trial, you will need to file a:
Uncontested and default cases come before the court at final hearing. To set your case for final hearing, you will need to file a:
Before you attend your final hearing you will need to submit a Final Judgment. The Final Judgment is a document the Judge will sign that dissolves your marriage.
If you have no dependent or minor children or property and you and your spouse have NOT entered into a Marital Settlement Agreement, you will need a:
If you do not have dependent or minor children and you and your spouse have entered into a Marital Settlement Agreement, you will need a:
If you have dependent or minor children and you and your spouse have entered into a Marital Settlement Agreement, you will need a:
SEMINOLE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION, LEGAL AID SOCIETY, INC.
For constituents, customers, or callers seeking help with family law cases – divorce, adoption, name change, custody, order of protection, and much more – there is now a one-stop source for lots of information aimed at self-represented people. Florida Courts Help is available at app stores as well as online at help.flcourts.org opens in a new window.
Florida Courts Help makes available at the touch of a screen:
PARENTING CLASS PROVIDERS – Listing for all 67 Counties in Florida opens in a new window as provided by the State