Form 12.903(C)(1) "Answer to Petition and Counterpetition for Dissolution of Marriage With Dependent or Minor Child(Ren)" - Florida

What Is Form 12.903(C)(1)?

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 printable version of Form 12.903(C)(1) by clicking the link below or browse more documents and templates provided by the Florida Courts.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Download Form 12.903(C)(1) "Answer to Petition and Counterpetition for Dissolution of Marriage With Dependent or Minor Child(Ren)" - Florida

Download PDF

Fill PDF online

Rate (4.7 / 5) 30 votes
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA SUPREME COURT APPROVED FAMILY LAW
FORM 12.903(c)(1)
ANSWER TO PETITION AND COUNTERPETITION FOR DISSOLUTION OF
MARRIAGE WITH DEPENDENT OR MINOR CHILD(REN)
(02/18)
When should this form be used?
This form should be used when you are responding to a petition for dissolution of marriage with
dependent or minor child(ren) and you are asking the court for something not contained in the petition.
The answer portion of this form is used to admit or deny the allegations contained in the petition, and the
counterpetition portion of this form is used to ask for whatever you want the court to do for you.
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. The person filing the petition
in a dissolution of marriage proceeding is also referred to as the petitioner and his or her spouse as the
respondent. The person filing a counterpetition is also referred to as the counterpetitioner and his or
her spouse as the counterrespondent.
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?
You have 20 days to answer after being served with your spouse’s petition. A copy of this form must be
mailed, e-mailed, or hand delivered to your spouse. After you file an answer and counterpetition your
case will then generally proceed as follows:
The other party is required to answer your counterpetition within 20 days using an Answer to
Counterpetition, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.903(d).
UNCONTESTED. Your dissolution is uncontested if you and your spouse agree on all issues raised in the
petition and the counterpetition. If this is the case, and you and the other party 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 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(c)(1), Answer to Petition and
Counterpetition for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren) (02/18)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA SUPREME COURT APPROVED FAMILY LAW
FORM 12.903(c)(1)
ANSWER TO PETITION AND COUNTERPETITION FOR DISSOLUTION OF
MARRIAGE WITH DEPENDENT OR MINOR CHILD(REN)
(02/18)
When should this form be used?
This form should be used when you are responding to a petition for dissolution of marriage with
dependent or minor child(ren) and you are asking the court for something not contained in the petition.
The answer portion of this form is used to admit or deny the allegations contained in the petition, and the
counterpetition portion of this form is used to ask for whatever you want the court to do for you.
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. The person filing the petition
in a dissolution of marriage proceeding is also referred to as the petitioner and his or her spouse as the
respondent. The person filing a counterpetition is also referred to as the counterpetitioner and his or
her spouse as the counterrespondent.
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?
You have 20 days to answer after being served with your spouse’s petition. A copy of this form must be
mailed, e-mailed, or hand delivered to your spouse. After you file an answer and counterpetition your
case will then generally proceed as follows:
The other party is required to answer your counterpetition within 20 days using an Answer to
Counterpetition, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.903(d).
UNCONTESTED. Your dissolution is uncontested if you and your spouse agree on all issues raised in the
petition and the counterpetition. If this is the case, and you and the other party 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 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(c)(1), Answer to Petition and
Counterpetition for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren) (02/18)
CONTESTED. Your dissolution is contested if you and your spouse disagree on any issue raised in the
petition or counterpetition. If 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.
For further information, see chapter 61, Florida Statutes.
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 must also file the following:
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit, Florida Supreme
Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(d)
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.902(e). (If
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.903(c)(1), Answer to Petition and
Counterpetition for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren) (02/18)
you do not know your spouse’s income, you may file this worksheet after your spouse’s financial
affidavit has been served on you.)
Affidavit of Corroborating Witness, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(i)
OR photocopy of current Florida driver’s license, Florida identification card, or voter’s registration
card (issue date of copied document must be at least six months before date case is actually filed
with the clerk of the circuit court).
Marital Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren),
Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(f)(1), if you have reached an agreement
on any or all of the issues.
Parenting Plan, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.9.995(a), Safety-Focused
Parenting Plan, Form 12.995(b), or Relocation/Long-Distance Parenting Plan, Form 12.995(c). If
the parents have reached an agreement, a signed and notarized Parenting Plan should be
attached. If the parents have not reached an agreement, a proposed Parenting Plan may be filed.
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 Plan 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 entry of the final judgment. You should contact the clerk,
family law intake staff, or judicial assistant about requirements for parenting courses or mediation where
you live.
Listed below are some terms with which you should become familiar before completing your 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
No contact
Parenting Plan
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.903(c)(1), Answer to Petition and
Counterpetition for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren) (02/18)
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
your counterpetition. 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,
time-sharing 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.
Parenting Plan. In all cases involving minor or dependent child(ren), a Parenting Plan shall be approved
or established by the court. If you and your spouse have reached an agreement, you should file a
Parenting Plan, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.995(a), 12.995(b), or 12.995(c),
which addresses the time-sharing schedule for the child(ren). If you have not reached an agreement, a
proposed Parenting Plan may be filed. If you and your spouse cannot agree, a Parenting Plan will be
established by the court.
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). For more
information, see the instructions for that form.
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). Both of you must
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.903(c)(1), Answer to Petition and
Counterpetition for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren) (02/18)
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), 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 a Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren)
(Uncontested), Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.990(b)(1). 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(c)(1), Answer to Petition and
Counterpetition for Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Child(ren) (02/18)