Instructions for Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.913(c), Affidavit of Diligent Search (11/20)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA FAMILY LAW RULES OF PROCEDURE FORM
AFFIDAVIT OF DILIGENT SEARCH
When should this form be used?
This form is to be used with Notice of Action For Family Cases With Minor Child(ren), Florida Supreme
Court Approved Family Law Form 12.913(a)(2), to obtain constructive service (also called service by
publication) on the legal father in any action or proceeding to determine paternity which may result in
termination of the legal father’s parental rights.
The legal father is entitled to actual notice of the proceedings when possible. When it is necessary to
use constructive notice, it must be given in a way that is likely to provide actual notice. You must
disclose the last known address of the legal father. A last known address cannot be unknown. This form
includes a checklist of places you must look for information on the location of the legal father. You have
to look in all of these places, and the court must believe that you have made a very serious effort to get
information about the person’s location and that you have followed up on any information you received.
This form should be typed or printed in black ink. After completing this form, you should sign the form.
You should file this document and a Notice of Action For Family Cases With Minor Child(ren), Florida
Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.913(a)(2), with the clerk of the circuit court in the county
where your petition for dissolution of marriage is filed. You should keep a copy for your records.
What should I do next?
A copy of this form must be filed with the court and served on the other party or his or her attorney. The
copy you are serving to the other party must be either mailed, e-mailed, or hand-delivered to the
opposing party or his or her attorney on the same day indicated on the certificate of service. If it is
mailed, it must be postmarked on the date indicated in the certificate of service. Service must be in
accordance with Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516.
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