The Eighteenth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission announces a vacancy in the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit that was created by the retirement of Judge Nancy Maloney. More Information
Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Courts
Serving the Citizens of Brevard and Seminole Counties

Family Court

Family Court is a fully integrated, comprehensive approach to handling all cases involving children and families, while at the same time resolving family disputes in a fair, timely, efficient, and cost-effective manner. 

Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure

Download the latest Family Procedures and Rules

Family Law Forms & Information

Download the latest Family Law forms & find other information.

Parenting Coordinator’s Almanac

Learn About Statutes, Legal Definitions, Procedures, & more.

Parenting Coordinator’s Roster

The persons listed within meet all qualifications under F.S. 61.125.

Representing Yourself in Family Cases

Learn about how to represent yourself in a family case.

Brevard & Seminole Counties

What is Family Court?

Family Court is a fully integrated, comprehensive approach to handling all cases involving children and families, while at the same time resolving family disputes in a fair, timely, efficient, and cost-effective manner.

In Florida, the Supreme Court has recognized Unified Family Court as the best way to handle cases that involve children and families. The idea behind Unified Family Court (or UFC for short) is that a family should be able to have all their disputes resolved in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Since 1991, a series of Florida Supreme Court opinions have been instrumental in establishing UFC throughout the state.

Family court is comprised of many different case types as listed in the Rules of Judicial Administration, Rule 2.545. See the list to the right.

Family Court Tool Kits

Several Florida Supreme Court steering committees and the Office of Family Courts have developed three Judicial Tool Kits. The first tool kit covers “the basics” of family court. The second addresses legal issues that occur while coordinating related cases. The most recent tool kit, developed in 2015, provides information about child development and trauma.

OFC Acronyms and Terms

A helpful chart with definitions for common acronyms found in Florida’s family courts.

For more information click here.

What does Family Court have jurisdiction over?

  1. Dissolution of marriage
  2. Division & distribution of property arising out of dissolution of marriage
  3. Annulment
  4. Custodial care / access to children
  5. Adoption
  6. Support unconnected with dissolution of marriage
  7. Child support
  8. Paternity
  9. URESA / UIFSA
  10. Declaratory judgment actions related to premarital, marital, or post marital agreements
  11. Name change
  12. Juvenile delinquency
  13. Emancipation of a minor
  14. CINS / FINS
  15. Truancy
  16. Juvenile dependency
  17. Termination of parental rights
  18. Civil domestic & repeat violence
  19. Modifications and enforcement of orders

Brevard County Family Division

WHAT YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND IN BREVARD:

Brevard County Case Managers are employed by the Court to assist the Family Law Judges in making sure all cases have met procedural requirements. 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 Brevard County through Brevard County Legal Aid @ (321) 631-2500. Also, you may consult Community Legal Services of Mid Florida (407) 322-8983 or visit them on the web address at www.clsmf.org.

Brevard Batterers' Intervention Program List of Providers

Pursuant to s. 741.30(6)(a)5, Florida Statutes, when the court orders the respondent to participate in a batterers' intervention program, the court, or any entity designated by the court, must provide the respondent with a list of batterers' intervention programs from which the respondent must choose a program in which to participate.

 

The information in this list has been provided by the trial court administrator's office in each circuit to assist in this process.

 

Click Here for the Brevard County Batterers' Intervention Program List of Providers

Brevard Local or Short Distance - Shared Parental Responsibility Timesharing Guidelines

When parents of minor children cease to live together, normally both parents have timesharing with the children. The breakup of a family unit is traumatic to all involved, especially to the children. The issues of timesharing and parenting are major issues and the resolution of those issues can benefit or be detrimental to the children, depending upon the parents and the way the issues are resolved.

 

A beneficial resolution requires that the parents be prepared to share the difficult responsibilities of rearing children in separate homes and that they be mature and responsible enough to do so. The law requires that a Parenting Plan, including timesharing rights, be established either by agreement of the parties or by the Court if the parties cannot agree.

 

Brevard Shared Parental Responsibility Timesharing Guidelines – Local or Short Distance

Brevard Long Distance - Shared Parental Responsibility Timesharing Guidelines

When parents of minor children cease to live together, normally both parents have timesharing with the children. The breakup of a family unit is traumatic to all involved, especially to the children. The issues of timesharing and parenting are major issues and the resolution of those issues can benefit or be detrimental to the children, depending upon the parents and the way the issues are resolved.

 

A beneficial resolution requires that the parents be prepared to share the difficult responsibilities of rearing children in separate homes and that they be mature and responsible enough to do so. The law requires that a Parenting Plan, including timesharing rights, be established either by agreement of the parties or by the Court if the parties cannot agree.

 

Click Here for the Brevard Shared Parental Responsibility Timesharing Guidelines – Long Distance

Brevard Family Division Administrative Orders

Required Reading for Domestic Relations per Administrative Order 16-35-b (Amended)

  • 16-35-b 5th Amended – Domestic Relations – Family Division Parties Required To Read Certain Administrative Orders

The following additional administrative orders must be read in All Cases:

  • 16-30-B Mediation – Family mediation mandatory referral of all contested family law cases to mediation
  • 14-04 Amended Domestic Relations – Collaborative Conflict Resolution in Dissolution of Marriage Cases
  • 13-38-B Domestic Relations – Family Division – Standing Temporary Domestic Relations Order
  • 11-24-Amended Family Div Circuit-wide – Family Model Court

The following additional administrative orders must be read if there are minor children of the marriage:

  • 19-11 Domestic Relations – Requirement to Complete the Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course in Dissolution of Marriage Proceeding with Minor Children or a Paternity Action that Involves Issues of Parental Responsibility
  • 15-17 – Domestic Relations – Parenting Coordination In The High Conflict Family Law Cases

The following additional administrative orders are suggested reading:

  • 10-06-B – Domestic Relations – Collaborative Law Participation Notice
  • 97-18-B – Commencement Support Brevard – DOM Action Silent Re: Date Payments to Commence

Brevard Parenting Plan

Effective October 1, 2008, Florida Statutes requires a Parenting Plan be established for family cases involving child(rens) issues.

 

The attached Parenting Plan includes all the issues the Court requires parents to consider in creating a parenting plan.

 

Brevard Parenting Class Providers Listing

The following providers are approved by the Department of Children and Families to offer local Parent Education and Family Stabilization courses in the State of Florida. The courses are a minimum of 4 hours and are designed to educate, train, and assist divorcing parents in regards to the impact of divorce on parents and children, as required by Chapter 61.21, F.S.

 

NOTE: To register please contact the provider listed. Select the DCF Circuit on the map to view courses in your area.

 

Click here to view map and connect to a provider.

Brevard Parenting Coordinator Policies, Procedures and Applications

Brevard Pro Se (Represent Yourself in a Divorce)

The Family Pro Se Coordinator gives procedural information for contested, uncontested, simplified divorce matters, cases to establish paternity, custody (only between parents or temporary extended family custody), child support, visitation, step-parent adoptions, name changes, modifications, motions, summons, subpoenas, judicial hearings/trials and general magistrate hearings.

 

The Family Pro Se Coordinator does not give legal advice, tell a person what the law is, represent them in court, tell them how to testify in court, or tell what their rights are. Pro se parties can call the self help office (321-633-7780) to get information on what forms need to be completed, the next step in their case, to set an appointment to have the forms reviewed only to see if they are complete, to notarize the documents. There is no charge for this service.

 

Other Helpful Resources

Seminole County Family Division

WHAT YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND IN SEMINOLE:

Seminole County Case Managers are employed by the Court to assist the Family Law Judges in making sure all cases have met procedural requirements. 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.

Seminole Batterers' Intervention Program List of Providers

Pursuant to s. 741.30(6)(a)5, Florida Statutes, when the court orders the respondent to participate in a batterers' intervention program, the court, or any entity designated by the court, must provide the respondent with a list of batterers' intervention programs from which the respondent must choose a program in which to participate.

 

The information in this list has been provided by the trial court administrator's office in each circuit to assist in this process.

 

Click Here for the Seminole County Batterers' Intervention Program List of Providers

How to file a Family Case in Seminole

You can obtain some of the family law forms adopted by the Florida Supreme Court that you will be required to file in a family law case at: www.flcourts.org Self Help - Family Law Forms

 

All completed forms and required documents must be returned to the Clerk of the Court using one of the following three methods:

 

  1. The preferred method is electronic filing via the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal (www.myflcourtaccess.com).
  2. Delivered in-person to Clerk of the Court located at the Downtown Civil Courthouse, 301 N. Park Ave, Sanford.
  3. Sent by Mail to Clerk of Court at P.O. Box 8099 Sanford, FL 32772

 

You must correctly complete, and file all required documents per the corresponding checklists (if applicable) before submitting a Request for Hearing form.

 

 
 

Seminole Family Case Checklist

*** REMINDER ***

Before submitting a Request for Hearing Form, you must file and complete all required documents on the corresponding checklist with the Clerk of the Court.

 

To help the many litigants who file cases in family courts who are not represented by an attorney (self-represented litigants), and to improve the response of the courts to the self-represented litigants, the Florida Supreme Court has adopted standardized family law forms that can be used by the self-represented litigants to process their family law case. The court adopted forms are identified as Florida Family Law Rules and Procedure Forms, or Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Forms.

 

Family Court Case Management Checklists

Request for Hearing or Other Action in Seminole

Due to increases in caseloads and the Court’s improved responsiveness and accountability, most business will be conducted by email. You must complete the following form to obtain assistance on an open case. You must submit a separate request each time you request assistance from the Case Management office. You will receive a response as soon as possible but definitely within 7 business days by email/phone. Please check your spam/junk folders in addition to your inbox in case our response to you has been sent there by your computer program.

 

Click here for more information or to file a Request for Hearing or Other Action in Seminole

Seminole Family Law Forms - Both Attorney/Non-Lawyer Representation

Click here to download Representation Forms, Petitions, Supplemental (Modification) Petitions, Answers, and Supporting Documents.

 

NOTE: Court staff cannot provide legal interpretations or advice. The self-help website includes family law forms approved by the Florida Supreme Court. Additional resources include a directory of local self-help centers, web links to free and low cost legal aid, mediator search capabilities, and guardianship resources.

 

  1. To get started and understand how the forms work,  Read the BASIC INSTRUCTIONS (STEP-BY-STEP) TO FILL OUT FORMS
  2. You may qualify for a fee waiver. Use this form to  Apply for Civil Indigent Status.

 

IMPORTANT: Before receiving services from a self-help program or court staff, please read through the  NOTICE OF LIMITATIONS OF SERVICES Disclaimer.

 

Self-help programs and court staff function under certain service limitations. For example, they can assist you administratively and procedurally but are not able to act as your lawyer or give you legal advice. This disclaimer sets out the limit of services from self-help program and court staff.

 

Forms Contain Fillable Form Fields: To complete forms on your mobile device or computer, you must download  Adobe Acrobat Reader. Fillable form fields in the PDF allows you to complete forms by typing information into the form fields. If fillable form fields  ARE NOT VISIBLE when you open the PDF form, you do not have Adobe Reader installed. We recommend that you install Adobe Acrobat Reader or download the reader from an app store.

Seminole Parent Education and Family Stabilization Providers List

The providers listed are approved by the Department of Children and Families to offer the Parent Education and Family Stabilization course in the State of Florida.

 

The courses are a minimum of 4 hours and are designed to educate, train, and assist divorcing parents in regards to the impact of divorce on parents and children, as required by Chapter 61.21, F.S.

 

Click here to visit the Parent Education and Family Stabilization Center - Florida Department of Children and Families (myflfamilies.com)

Seminole Parenting Coordinator Policies, Procedures and Applications

All Self-Represented Litigants Must Register Their Email or Make Use of the Portal

All Self-Represented Litigants Must Register Their Email or Make Use of the Portal! 

 

Seminole Administrative Order 17-17-S

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 17-17-S

 

DOMESTIC RELATIONS – FAMILY DIVISION – STANDING TEMPORARY ORDER IN DOMESTIC RELATIONS CASES SUCH AS DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE, PATERNITY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SUPERSEDES 11-10-S – ORDERED 3/27/2017 BY CHIEF JUDGE JOHN D. GALLUZZO

Frequently Asked Questions About Seminole's Family Division/How to File, and more.

Click here to visit our Frequently Asked Questions regarding Family Court Case Management

Questions such as:

How do I Use the Florida E-File Portal?
How Do I File or Answer a Civil Complaint?
Preparing for Your Day in Civil Court?
When is my hearing?
Where do I find the forms, I need?
Where do I file my completed forms?
How much are the filing fees?
How can I schedule a mediation with the 18th Judicial Circuit’s Mediation Program?
How do I contact the judge or magistrate’s office?
What is a magistrate?
I need an interpreter for the hearing – what should I do?
What does “Pro Se” mean?
I have been ordered to take a parenting course – why do I have to do this?
Where do I go to file a Divorce?

and more.

Other Helpful Resources

Florida Courts Help available at the touch of a screen:

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.gov.

View Case Management Administrative Orders, video tutorial on how to properly complete and submit Case Management Plan/Orders, and more. Please ensure you are utilizing the most recent Case Management Plan and Case Management Order. Click here to view Civil Case Management Orders & Forms (Updated on 4/16/2024)
Case Management Plan/Orders