The new year brought some changes to family law in Florida that not everyone noticed! These changes include removing the notarization requirement for several common forms and an increase in documents required for mandatory disclosure. I think most people will find the changes to these family law forms to be a positive change designed to increase fairness and transparency. However, some will find the changes to require substantially more documentation and effort. I’ll detail some of the changes below.
Notary Block Changes
The notary block has been removed from several of the Florida Supreme Court Forms with the intent to make it easier for self-represented parties. Notable documents where the notary requirement was removed was the Family Law Financial Affidavit, Standard Family Law Interrogatories, and Compliance with Mandatory Disclosure.
Change in Party Titles
The terms “husband” and “wife” were removed on forms where they appeared and replaced with “petitioner” and “respondent” to make the terms gender neutral.
- Service requirements. The language was clarified regarding when documents must be served on the other party for temporary relief matters.
- The time period for which several documents must be produced has been expanded. This adds extra document disclosures for many people.
- Added requirement for documents related to the Financial Affidavit: “All documents supporting the income, assets, and liabilities figures entered into the financial affidavit must also be produced.” This could potentially require extra disclosure for some people.
- Virtual Currency. There is a new category of document disclosure for virtual currency such as bitcoin.
- Documents related to corporate ownership used to be limited only when a party owned 30% or more, but has been changed to include ownership in any corporation no matter how small the ownership. This will impact people who have less than 30% ownership in a corporation.
There are two new forms for grandparents to petition the court for visitation with minor children. The first is the petition, and the second is the order provided to the court at the hearing date. Grandparent’s rights are very limited in Florida but there are circumstances they can petition for time-sharing under Florida Statute 752.011 . These forms are designed to assist in grandparents with these requests.
Summary And More Information
This article is not a complete list of all changes. You can see all the detailed changes in Florida Supreme Court Order SC20-162.