Form 12.983(A) "Petition to Determine Paternity and for Related Relief" - Florida

What Is Form 12.983(A)?

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 November 1, 2015;
  • 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 12.983(A) by clicking the link below or browse more documents and templates provided by the Florida Courts.

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INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA SUPREME COURT APPROVED FAMILY LAW
FORM 12.983(a),
PETITION TO DETERMINE PATERNITY AND FOR RELATED RELIEF
(11/15)
When should this form be used?
This form should be used by a birth mother or father to ask the court to establish paternity, a time-sharing
schedule, and/or child support of a minor child or children. This means that you are trying to legally
establish who is the father of the 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 you live and keep a copy for your records.
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.
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 Administration2.516.
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.983(a), Petition to Determine Paternity and
for Related Relief (11/15)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA SUPREME COURT APPROVED FAMILY LAW
FORM 12.983(a),
PETITION TO DETERMINE PATERNITY AND FOR RELATED RELIEF
(11/15)
When should this form be used?
This form should be used by a birth mother or father to ask the court to establish paternity, a time-sharing
schedule, and/or child support of a minor child or children. This means that you are trying to legally
establish who is the father of the 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 you live and keep a copy for your records.
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.
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 Administration2.516.
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.983(a), Petition to Determine Paternity and
for Related Relief (11/15)
What should I do next?
For your case to proceed, you must properly notify the respondent of the petition. If you know where
he or she lives, you should use personal service. If you absolutely do not know where he or she lives,
you may use constructive service. However, if constructive service is used, the court may only grant
limited relief. You should seek legal advice on constructive service in a paternity case. For more
information see chapter 49, Florida Statutes, or you may contact Child Support Enforcement at the
Florida Department of Revenue if you need assistance with your case.
If personal service is used, the respondent has 20 days to answer after being served with your petition.
Your case will then generally proceed in one of the following three ways:
DEFAULT... If after 20 days, no answer has been filed, you may file a Motion for Default, Florida Supreme
Court Approved Family Law Form 12.922(a), with the clerk of court. Then, if you have filed all of the
required papers, you may call the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant to set a 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 hearingform.
UNCONTESTED... If the respondent files an answer that agrees with everything in your petition or an
answer and waiver, and you have complied with mandatory disclosure and filed all of the required papers,
you may call the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant to set a 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.
CONTESTED... If the respondent files an answer or an answer and counterpetition, which disagrees with
or denies anything in your petition, and you are unable to settle the disputed issues, you should file a
Notice for Trial, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.924, after you have complied with
mandatory disclosure, completed the scientific paternity testing, if necessary, and filed all of the required
papers. Then you should contact the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant for instructions on
how to set your case for trial (final hearing). If the respondent files an answer and counterpetition, you
should answer the counterpetition within 20 days using an Answer to Counterpetition, Florida Supreme
Court Approved Family Law Form 12.983(d).
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 742, Florida Statutes.
Special notes...
If you do not have the money to pay the filing fee, you may obtain an Application for Determination of
Civil Indigent Status, fill it out, and the clerk will determine whether you are eligible to have filing fees
deferred.
More than one child of the same alleged father may be listed on a single petition. However, if you are
filing a paternity action involving more than one possible father, a separate petition must be filed for each
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.983(a), Petition to Determine Paternity and
for Related Relief (11/15)
alleged father.
If the respondent files an answer denying that the person named in the petition is the child(ren)’s father,
one of you should file a Motion for Scientific Paternity Testing, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family
Law Form 12.983(e). This is used to ask the court to order a scientific test to determine who is the
child(ren)’s father.
If the father signed papers at the hospital acknowledging that he was the father, paternity was established
as a matter of law. This should be indicated on page 2, section 9a on this form.
If the paternity of a child who was conceived or born during a marriage is at issue, the court may appoint
a guardian ad litem to assist the court in this matter and to protect the rights of child.
With this petition, you must file the following and provide a copy to the other party:
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit, Florida Supreme
Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(d).
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).
Certificate of Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure
Form 12.932. (This must be filed within 45 days, if not filed with the petition, unless you and the
other party have agreed not to exchange these documents.)
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.902(e). (If
you do not know the other party’s income, you may file this worksheet after his or her financial
affidavit has been filed.)
Parenting Plan, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form, 12.995(a), 12.995(b), or
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.
Parenting Plan and Time-Sharing. If the parties are unable to agree on parenting arrangements and a
time-sharing schedule, a judge will decide as part of establishing a Parenting Plan. The judge will decide
the parenting arrangements and time-sharing based on the child(ren)’s best interests; Regardless of
whether there is an agreement between the parties, the court reserves jurisdiction to modify issues
relating to minor or dependent 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) are being served. For more information, you may consult sections
61.401–61.405, FloridaStatutes.
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
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.983(a), Petition to Determine Paternity and
for Related Relief (11/15)
No contact
Parenting Plan
Parenting Plan Recommendation
Time-Sharing Schedule
Many circuits require that parents of a minor or dependent child(ren) who are involved in dissolution or
paternity actions attend mediation before being allowed to schedule a final hearing. A parenting course
must be completed prior to entry of the final judgment. You should check with your local clerk of court’s
office, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant for more information on the parenting course and
mediation requirements in your area.
Child Support.
The court may order one parent to pay child support to assist the other parent in
meeting the child(ren)’s material needs; Both parents are required to provide financial support, but
one parent may be ordered to pay a portion of his or her support for the child(ren) 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. You should file a financial affidavit, and the other parent 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. 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.
Final Judgments. These family law forms contain a Final Judgment of Paternity, Florida Supreme Court
Approved Family Law Form 12.983(g), which the judge may use. You should check with the clerk, family
law intake staff, or judicial assistant to see if you need to bring it 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.
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 12.983(a), Petition to Determine Paternity and
for Related Relief (11/15)
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE _______________________ JUDICIAL CIRCUIT,
IN AND FOR ________________________ COUNTY, FLORIDA
Case No.: ___________________________ ___
Division: __________________________________________________________________________________ ________
__________________________________,
Petitioner,
and
__________________________________,
Respondent,
PETITION TO DETERMINE PATERNITY AND FOR RELATED RELIEF
Petitioner, {full legal name} ____________________________________________________________,
being sworn, certifies that the following information is true:
This is an action for paternity and to determine parental responsibility, time-sharing, and child support
under chapter 742, Florida Statutes.
SECTION I.
1.
Petitioner is the _____ Mother _____ Father of the following minor child(ren):
Name
Birth Date
1.
__________________________________________________________________
2.
__________________________________________________________________
3.
__________________________________________________________________
4.
__________________________________________________________________
5.
__________________________________________________________________
6.
__________________________________________________________________
2.
Petitioner’ s current address is: {street address, city, state} _________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
3.
Respondent’s current address is: {street address, city, state} _________________________
_________________________________________________________________________
4.
Both parties are over the age of 18.
5.
Petitioner {Choose only one} _____ is
is not a member of the military service.
Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.983(a), Petition to Determine Paternity and for
Related Relief (11/15)