Home Family Florida Family Law

Florida Family Law

Florida Family Law

Florida Family Law: An In-Depth Guide

Family law is a critical aspect of the legal framework of any society. In Florida, family law controls a wide range of legal matters related to family relationships. Such issues can involve divorce, child custody, child support, and much more.

Family law often deals with one of the essential aspects of people’s lives – family. Therefore, the legal system in Florida treats family law cases with the utmost importance. The state has a particular set of rules and regulations that govern family law cases and ensure that each case is handled fairly and equitably.

In this article, we will delve into the world of Florida family law and provide a comprehensive overview of its various aspects.

The Different Legal Topics In Florida Family Law

The state of Florida handles multiple family law subjects. Different legal topics relating to family law cases include:

• Divorce
• Child custody
• Child Support
• Alimony
• Adoption
• Prenuptial Agreement
• Domestic Violence
• Paternity

In the following sections, we will provide a detailed overview of each of the above-listed legal topics.


A family law court in Florida may grant a couple a divorce when there exist irreconcilable differences. The procedure for obtaining a divorce in Florida often relies on how the couple has handled the divorce process. The process can either be uncontested or contested.

1. Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested divorce arises when the two parties have agreed on all issues, including the division of assets, child support, and other aspects. In such cases, the couple can file for divorce jointly. Florida law requires that the married couple should go through a twenty days cooling-off period before the court can grant the divorce.

2. Contested Divorce

Contested divorce arises when couples do not agree on at least one of the issues involved in the divorce. In such cases, the court requires both parties to attend mediation. If mediation doesn’t work, the court may schedule a trial date, which both the parties must attend.

Child Custody

When a married couple with children divorces, the court has to determine physical and legal custody of the children. Legal custody controls the decision-making aspect of the child, and physical custody allows the child to stay with one of their parents.

Florida has a ninety-day residency requirement for any parent seeking child custody. This requirement implies that one parent must have stayed in Florida with the child for at least ninety consecutive days before filing for custody.

Courts in Florida often use the “best interest of the child” principle to determine child custody. The court considers several factors to decide the child’s best interest, including:

• The physical, mental, and emotional health of the parents
• The child’s preference
• The parents’ capacity to provide for the child.
• Any history of substance abuse, domestic violence, or child abuse.
• The parents’ ability to provide continuity of education, medical care, and other vital needs.

Child Support

When a couple with children divorces in Florida, the court may order that one parent pays the other some money for child support. This money aids the parent with the majority of the child’s physical custody to take care of the subsequent needs.

Florida has a child support guideline, giving a base level of support for the children based on the parents’ income. The non-custodial parent must support the custodial parent with the stipulated base level or more. The amount of child support varies and depends heavily on both parents’ income.


Alimony is the money that one former spouse pays to the other after the end of the marriage. The Florida court may order one party to pay his/her spouse’s money if the spouse doesn’t have enough money to cater to their reasonable needs and requirements.

Florida law has several types of alimony, including:

• Bridge-the-gap Alimony: This kind of alimony aids the party in meeting their short-term goals as they adjust to the new circumstances. It lasts for not more than two years.

• Rehabilitative Alimony: This fixates on the party obtaining specific vocational skills or educational qualifications to be self-sufficient in the future.

• Durational Alimony: This kind of alimony lasts for a specific period and isn’t meant to exceed the length of the marriage.

• Permanent Alimony: The court grants permanent alimony to the spouse who has been dependent on the other party for an extended period.


Adoption law aims to establish a legal parental relationship between a person (the adoptee) and an adult (the adoptive parent). In Florida, adoption proceedings are either by consent or adoption litigation.

a) Consent Adoption

In consent adoption, the child’s parent willingly surrenders their parental rights to an agency or a prospective adoptive family. Florida law requires that the parent must sign a life-long consent form, which relinquishes their parental rights in the child.

Once the court receives the consent form, it schedules a hearing to terminate the parent’s parental rights officially.

b) Adoption Litigation

Adoption litigation occurs when one parent contests the proceedings of adoption. Such cases typically occur when the biological parent is unfit, refusing the adoption or unknown.

Prenuptial Agreement

In Florida, a prenuptial agreement is a written contract between future spouses outlining their wishes in case of a divorce or separation. A prenuptial agreement must be signed by both parties to be legally valid.

A prenuptial agreement must involve the following:

• Each party’s prompt financial needs
• Both parties’ rights concerning the property before and after the marriage.
• Each party’s right over disposition upon separation, divorce, or death.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence refers to violent acts or intimidation by one family member against another. Domestic violence in Florida is a criminal offense, and any party found guilty faces severe consequences, including imprisonment.

In Florida, domestic violence also involves stalking, cyberstalking, or any other criminal offense that constitutes domestic violence under the state’s law. Victims of domestic violence can be eligible for restraining orders to protect them from further abuse or harassment.


Paternity proceedings recognize a child’s biological father and establish his legal relationship with the child. Paternity disputes arise when the child’s biological father isn’t certain correctly, and the mother wants the child support of the alleged father.

In Florida, one can establish paternity through several ways- the establishment of paternity comes with rights and responsibilities accompanying it. It is essential to consult a family law attorney to determine if one has any paternity rights.


Family law in Florida can be a complex and challenging area to navigate alone. Obtaining legal help from a reputable family law attorney is a crucial step in resolving any complicated family law issue.

This article has provided an in-depth overview of various Florida family law subjects, such as divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, adoption, prenuptial agreement, domestic violence, and paternity. At the same time, the information provided here isn’t meant to be exhaustive; rather, it is a starting point to understand the most common topics found therein.

A Quick Guide to Florida Family Law 

Florida Family Laws

Florida family law is complex, but with the right search methods and understanding of the FL statutes, the branch of law is easy to comprehend and easily accessible by the public.   A complete and detailed list of all Florida laws and statutes is listed at Florida Statutes.

This article will refer to certain statues that concentrate on Florida family law, as well as methods you can take to make your search under the FL legislature faster and easier.  You can also search the entirety of Florida family law on this website, and many of the search tips in this article apply to search methods on www.laws.com as well.

Specific Family Laws and Statutes

If you choose to search through the FL statutes instead of performing a search, you’ll want to refer to Title VI, Civil Practice and Procedure, in order to reference Florida family law.  Some important chapters are discussed below that are most often referenced under Florida family laws.  For more information, visit the searchable statutes under the FL state legislature.

Chapter 61 Dissolution of Marriage; Support; Time-Sharing

This statute usually referenced more than other statutes in Florida family law, and the first part of the chapter covers the majority of important issues in a divorce or separation: grounds for divorce or annulment, child and spousal support, property division, guardian ad litems, and more.

Part two of this chapter discusses child custody agreements and time sharing in depth.  The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act is discussed in sections 61.501 through 61.542.

Chapter 63 Adoption

This chapter of Florida family laws discusses the entirety of adoption, including some of the following important sections:

• 63.039- Duty of adoption entity to prospective adoptive parents; sanctions

• 63.042- Who may be adopted, who may adopt

• 63.053- Rights and responsibilities of an unmarried biological father; legislative findings

• 63.087- Proceeding to terminate parental rights pending adoption; general provisions

There are many more important statutes under adoptions law in Florida, and you are usually advised to speak with an adoption attorney before proceeding with adoption in FL.

Chapter 88 Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

This Florida family law has nine different parts that address every stage of the Act.

Search Tips for the Florida Family Laws

There are certain steps that will undoubtedly center your search of Florida family law and quickly bring you to individual statutes and parts you need to reference.  Consider the following helpful search strategies:

1. Stemming- this technique includes adding suffixes onto your search, such as adoptions, adopting, adopted, or more

2. Wildcards- a wildcard allows you to search multiple words using an asterisk, and govern* will usually bring you to govern, governs, governing, government, governmental, and more.

3. Missing variables- you can search for a missing variable with a question mark, and wom?n will bring results associated with woman, women, and more

4. Boolean Operators- you should always consider using and, or, and not to limit your searches as well