Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.983(b), Answer to Petition to Determine
Paternity and for Related Relief (11/15)
you do not know the other party’s income, you may file this form after the other party files his
or her financial affidavit.)
Many circuits require completion of 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, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant for more information on the parenting course and
mediation requirements in your area.
Parenting Plan and Time-Sharing. If the parents are unable to agree on parenting arrangements and a
time-sharing schedule, a judge will decide these issues 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 between the parties, the court reserves jurisdiction to
modify issues relating to 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) are being
served. For more information, you may consult sections 61.401 and 61.405, Florida Statutes.
Listed below are some terms with which you should become familiar before completing your answer. 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
Parenting Plan Recommendation
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.