Florida Supreme Court Revises Family Law Rules


Florida Supreme Court Revised Family Law Rules

The Florida Supreme Court has recently revised the Florida Family Law Rules.

These rules outline how a case proceeds, from start to finish. This includes what is required when you file a case, and how to proceed. The Family Law Rules tell all parties what financial information is needed, and when it is due. For example, anyone in a divorce will hear about “Rule 12.285.” This rule outlines what financial information is required. This includes financial affidavits, bank statements (for checking accounts) for three months, and paystubs for three months.  

The Florida Family Law Rules provide courts with structure.

Recently, the rules were expanded and made as a separate set of rules. In its ruling, the Florida Supreme Court notes that “family law” is now a distinct court. One that has to constantly find ways “to handle the growing number of issues that arise in twenty-first century cases.”

This includes paternity cases, divorces, and domestic violence cases. Specific changes were made including how documents are verified. It also provides more guidance on when the Court can appoint a Guardian ad Litem. Other provisions also changed how attorneys obtain information, such as using what is called Interrogatories.  

March 17th of this year is when the new rules took effect, and many forms were updated.March 17th of this year is when the new rules took effect, and many forms were updated. A whole section was written to address when cases should be transferred. This includes language on who pays to transfer the case.

Detail is given on filing petitions, as well as how to answer a lawsuit. Another section outlines the limits on storing electronic information. This was certainly not an issue in 1995 when the first set of Family Law Rules was adopted. 

In summary, the new rules provide a complete set of rules for all family law litigants. In the past, we had to look at two different set of rules. Hopefully, the new rules will help people navigate the family law arena faster.