Form 12.903(B) "Answer to Petition for Dissolution of Marriage" - Florida

What Is Form 12.903(B)?

This is a legal form that was released by the Florida Courts - a government authority operating within Florida. As of today, no separate filing guidelines for the form are provided by the issuing department.

Form Details:

  • Released on February 1, 2018;
  • The latest edition provided by the Florida Courts;
  • Easy to use and ready to print;
  • Quick to customize;
  • Compatible with most PDF-viewing applications;
  • Fill out the form in our online filing application.

Download a fillable version of Form 12.903(B) by clicking the link below or browse more documents and templates provided by the Florida Courts.

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Download Form 12.903(B) "Answer to Petition for Dissolution of Marriage" - Florida

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INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA SUPREME COURT APPROVED
FAMILY LAW FORM 12.903(b)
ANSWER TO PETITION FOR DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE
(02/18)
When should this form be used?
This form should be used when you are responding to a petition for dissolution of marriage and you
wish to admit or deny all of the allegations in the petition but you do not plan to file a
counterpetition seeking relief. You can use this form to answer any petition for dissolution of
marriage, whether or not there are minor child(ren).
This form should be typed or printed in black ink. After completing this form, you should sign the
form before a notary public or deputy clerk. You should file the original with the clerk of the circuit
court in the county where the petition was filed and keep a copy for your records. This must be
done within 20 days of receiving the petition.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING E-FILING
The Florida Rules of Judicial Administration now require that all petitions, pleadings, and documents
be filed electronically except in certain circumstances. Self-represented litigants may file petitions or
other pleadings or documents electronically; however, they are not required to do so. If you choose
to file your pleadings or other documents electronically, you must do so in accordance with Florida
Rule of Judicial Administration 2.525, and you must follow the procedures of the judicial circuit in
which you file. The rules and procedures should be carefully read and followed.
What should I do next?
A copy of this form, along with all of the other forms required with this answer, must be mailed, e-
mailed, or hand delivered to the other party in your case. You have 20 days to answer after being
served with the other party’s petition. After you file your answer, the case will generally proceed in
one of the following two ways:
UNCONTESTED. If you file an answer that agrees with everything in the other party’s petition and
you have complied with mandatory disclosure and filed all of the required papers, either party may
contact the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant to set a final hearing. If you request
the final hearing, you must notify the other party of the hearing by using a Notice of Hearing
(General), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.923, or other appropriate notice of
hearing form.
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.903(b), Answer to Petition for
Dissolution of Marriage (02/18)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA SUPREME COURT APPROVED
FAMILY LAW FORM 12.903(b)
ANSWER TO PETITION FOR DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE
(02/18)
When should this form be used?
This form should be used when you are responding to a petition for dissolution of marriage and you
wish to admit or deny all of the allegations in the petition but you do not plan to file a
counterpetition seeking relief. You can use this form to answer any petition for dissolution of
marriage, whether or not there are minor child(ren).
This form should be typed or printed in black ink. After completing this form, you should sign the
form before a notary public or deputy clerk. You should file the original with the clerk of the circuit
court in the county where the petition was filed and keep a copy for your records. This must be
done within 20 days of receiving the petition.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING E-FILING
The Florida Rules of Judicial Administration now require that all petitions, pleadings, and documents
be filed electronically except in certain circumstances. Self-represented litigants may file petitions or
other pleadings or documents electronically; however, they are not required to do so. If you choose
to file your pleadings or other documents electronically, you must do so in accordance with Florida
Rule of Judicial Administration 2.525, and you must follow the procedures of the judicial circuit in
which you file. The rules and procedures should be carefully read and followed.
What should I do next?
A copy of this form, along with all of the other forms required with this answer, must be mailed, e-
mailed, or hand delivered to the other party in your case. You have 20 days to answer after being
served with the other party’s petition. After you file your answer, the case will generally proceed in
one of the following two ways:
UNCONTESTED. If you file an answer that agrees with everything in the other party’s petition and
you have complied with mandatory disclosure and filed all of the required papers, either party may
contact the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant to set a final hearing. If you request
the final hearing, you must notify the other party of the hearing by using a Notice of Hearing
(General), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.923, or other appropriate notice of
hearing form.
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.903(b), Answer to Petition for
Dissolution of Marriage (02/18)
CONTESTED. If you file an answer which disagrees with or denies anything in the petition, and you
are unable to settle the disputed issues, either party may file a Notice for Trial, Florida Supreme
Court Approved Family Law Form 12.924, after you have complied with mandatory disclosure and
filed all of the required papers. Some circuits may require the completion of mediation before a
final hearing may be set. You should contact the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant for
instructions on how to set your case for trial (final hearing).
Where can I look for more information?
Before proceeding, you should read “General Information for Self-Represented Litigants” found at
the beginning of these forms. The words that are in “bold underline” in these instructions are
defined there. See chapter 61, Florida Statutes, for more information.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING E-SERVICE ELECTION
After the initial service of process of the petition or supplemental petition by the Sheriff or certified
process server, the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration now require that all documents required
or permitted to be served on the other party must be served by electronic mail (e-mail) except in
certain circumstances. You must strictly comply with the format requirements set forth in the
Rules of Judicial Administration. If you elect to participate in electronic service, which means
serving or receiving pleadings by electronic mail (e-mail), or through the Florida Courts E-Filing
Portal, you must review Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516. You may find this rule at
www.flcourts.org
through the link to the Rules of Judicial Administration provided under either
Family Law Forms: Getting Started, or Rules of Court in the A-Z Topical Index.
SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS MAY SERVE DOCUMENTS BY E-MAIL; HOWEVER, THEY ARE NOT
REQUIRED TO DO SO. If a self-represented litigant elects to serve and receive documents by e-mail,
the procedures must always be followed once the initial election is made.
To serve and receive documents by e-mail, you must designate your e-mail addresses by using the
Designation of Current Mailing and E-mail Address, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law
Form 12.915, and you must provide your e-mail address on each form on which your signature
appears. Please CAREFULLY read the rules and instructions for: Certificate of Service (General),
Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.914; Designation of Current Mailing and E-mail
Address, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.915; and Florida Rule of Judicial
Administration 2.516.
Special notes...
With this form, you may also need to file the following:
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit, Florida
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.903(b), Answer to Petition for
Dissolution of Marriage (02/18)
Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(d), if the case involves a dependent or
minor child(ren).
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.902(e), if
the case involves a dependent or minor child(ren). (If you do not know the other party’s income,
you may file this worksheet after his or her financial affidavit has been served on you).
Marital Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor
Child(ren), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(f)(1), or Marital
Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage with Property but No Dependent or
Minor Child(ren), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(f)(2), if you
have reached an agreement on any or all of the issues.
Notice of Social Security Number, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form
12.902(j).
Family Law Financial Affidavit, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.902(b) or (c).
(This must be filed within 45 days of service of the petition on you, if not filed at the time
you file this answer.)
Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure, Florida Family Law Rules of
Procedure Form 12.932. (This must be filed within 45 days of service of the petition on you,
if not filed at the time you file this answer, unless you and the other party have agreed not
to exchange these documents.)
Parenting and Time-sharing. If you and your spouse are unable to agree on parenting arrangements
and a time-sharing schedule, a judge will decide for you as part of establishing a Parenting Plan. The
judge will decide the parenting arrangements and time-sharing schedule based on the child(ren)’s
best interests. Regardless of whether there is an agreement, the court reserves jurisdiction to
modify issues relating to the minor child(ren).
The judge may request a parenting plan recommendation or appoint a guardian ad litem in your
case. This means that a neutral person will review your situation and report to the judge concerning
parenting issues. The purpose of such intervention is to be sure that the best interests of the
child(ren) is (are) being served. For more information, you may consult section 61.13, Florida
Statutes.
A parenting course must be completed prior to the entry of a final judgment. You should contact the
clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant about requirements for parenting courses where you
live.
Listed below are some terms with which you should become familiar before completing your answer
to the petition. If you do not fully understand any of the terms below or their implications, you
should speak with an attorney before going any further.
Shared Parental Responsibility
Sole Parental Responsibility
Supervised Time-Sharing
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.903(b), Answer to Petition for
Dissolution of Marriage (02/18)
No contact
Parenting Plan
Parenting Plan Recommendation
Time-Sharing Schedule
Child Support. Both parents are required to provide financial support for their minor or dependent
child(ren); however, the court may order one parent to pay child support to the other parent.
Florida has adopted guidelines for determining the amount of child support to be paid. These
guidelines are based on the combined income of both parents and take into account the financial
contributions of both parents and the number of overnights the child(ren) spend with each parent.
You must file a Family Law Financial Affidavit, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form
12.902(b) or (c), and your spouse will be required to do the same. From your financial affidavits, you
should be able to calculate the amount of child support that should be paid using the Child Support
Guidelines Worksheet, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.902(e). Because the child
support guidelines take several factors into consideration, change over time, and vary from state to
state, your child support obligation may be more or less than that of other people in seemingly
similar situations.
Alimony. Alimony may be awarded to a spouse if the judge finds that one spouse has an actual
need for it and that the other spouse has the ability to pay. If you want alimony, you must request
it in writing in a counterpetition. Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.903(c)(1)
(with dependent or minor child(ren)), or Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form
12.903(c)(2) (no dependent or minor child(ren)). If you do not request alimony in writing before
the final hearing, it is waived (you may not request it later). You may request permanent alimony,
bridge-the-gap alimony, durational alimony, and/or rehabilitative alimony. If alimony is awarded,
the judge may order periodic payments, payments in lump sum, or both.
Marital/Nonmarital Assets and Liabilities. Florida law requires an equitable distribution of marital
assets and marital liabilities. “Equitable” does not necessarily mean “equal.” Many factors,
including child support, any parenting plan and time-sharing schedule, and alimony awards, may
lead the court to make an unequal (but still equitable) distribution of assets and liabilities.
Nonmarital assets and nonmarital liabilities are those assets and liabilities which the parties agree
or the court determines belong to, or are the responsibility of, only one of the parties. If the parties
agree or the court finds an asset or liability to be nonmarital, the judge will not consider it when
distributing marital assets and liabilities.
Temporary Relief. If you need temporary relief regarding temporary use of assets, temporary
responsibility for liabilities, parental responsibility and time-sharing with child(ren), temporary child
support, or temporary alimony, you may file a Motion for Temporary Support and Time-Sharing
with Dependent or Minor Child(ren), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.947(a),
or, if there are no dependent or minor child(ren), Motion for Temporary Support with No
Dependent or Minor Child(ren), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.947(c). For
more information, see the instructions for these forms.
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.903(b), Answer to Petition for
Dissolution of Marriage (02/18)
Marital Settlement Agreement. If you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on any or
all of the issues, you should file a Marital Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage with
Dependent or Minor Child(ren), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(f)(1), or
Marital Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage with No Dependent or Minor
Child(ren), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(f)(2). Both parties must sign
this agreement before a notary public or deputy clerk. Any issues on which you are unable to agree
will be considered contested and settled by the judge at the final hearing.
Final Judgment Form. These family law forms contain a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage
with Dependent or Minor Child(ren), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form
12.990(c)(1), and Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage with Property but No Dependent or
Minor Child(ren), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.990(c)(2), which the judge
may use if your case is contested. If you and your spouse reach an agreement on all of the issues,
the judge may use Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren)
(Uncontested), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.990(b)(1), Final Judgment of
Dissolution of Marriage with Property but No Dependent or Minor Child(ren) (Uncontested),
Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.990(b)(2), or Final Judgment of Dissolution of
Marriage with No Property and No Dependent or Minor Child(ren), Florida Supreme Court
Approved Family Law Form 12.990(b)(3). You should contact the clerk, family law intake staff, or
judicial assistant to see if you need to bring a final judgment with you to the hearing. If so, you
should type or print the heading, including the circuit, county, case number, division, and the
parties’ names, and leave the rest blank for the judge to complete at your hearing or trial.
Nonlawyer. Remember, a person who is NOT an attorney is called a nonlawyer. If a nonlawyer
helps you fill out these forms, that person must give you a copy of a Disclosure from Nonlawyer,
Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.900(a), before he or she helps you. A nonlawyer
helping you fill out these forms also must put his or her name, address, and telephone number on
the bottom of the last page of every form he or she helps you complete.
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.903(b), Answer to Petition for
Dissolution of Marriage (02/18)