The Family Law Division is responsible for the review, processing, computer data entry and calendaring of legal documents pertaining to family law. Family law includes dissolution, legal separations, adoptions, emancipation, and proceedings to terminate parental rights. The Family Law Division provides customer service over the counter and on the telephone regarding the filing of legal documents, and providing information pertaining to other family law agencies and their operations.
For your convenience, additional information concerning Florida family laws and opinions may be found at the following website: www.flcourts.org. Family law forms may be found at the following website: FLCourts.org Forms Page. The Florida Supreme Court website may be found at www.floridasupremecourt.org.
If you have a question or would like more information, please contact or visit our office. We can be reached at (850) 653-8861 x 106 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, and are located in suite 203 at the Franklin County Courthouse, 33 Market Street, Apalachicola, Florida 32320.
Legal Aid may be contacted at (850)385-9007. Legal Aid is here in Franklin County on the first Thursday of each month from 10:30 until. No appointment necessary.
A Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) is an action to terminate the contract of marriage. Jurisdiction lies in the Circuit Civil Division. These matters are governed by the laws of the State of Florida (Florida Statutes) and the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. In addition to dissolving the marriage contract, the court may determine the division of property and responsibility for debts and the care and custody of children. In general, parties wishing to obtain a divorce should contact their attorney.
If a couple decides to get a divorce, the Supreme Court of Florida and Florida Family Law have created general information packets regarding divorces for your reference and use. These packets are for couples who wish to represent themselves in their divorce proceedings. As in all matters involving the law, if you do not feel fully comfortable or qualified to represent yourself, you may want to consider obtaining the services of a competent lawyer. In order to file for divorce in Florida, one party must be a Florida resident for at least six (6) months prior to the date the divorce petition is filed.
These self-help packets are for people who wish to represent themselves in civil proceedings. These packets are available for purchase in the Civil Division of the Courthouse or by choosing the link above to Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure.
means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death, by a person against any other person.
Domestic Violence (Florida Statutes 741.28)
means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.
Family or household member
means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married with the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.
means two (2) incidents of violence or stalking committed by the respondent, on of which must have been within six (6) months of the filing of the petition, which are directed against the petitioner or the petitioner’s immediate family member.
Any person who is the victim of repeat violence, or the parent or legal guardian of any minor child who is living at home and who seeks an injunction for protection against repeat violence on behalf of the minor child, has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against repeat violence.
means violence between individuals who have had or still have a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The term does not include violence in a casual acquaintanceship or violence between individuals who only have engaged in ordinary fraternization in a business or social context. The existence of a continuing and significant relationship shall be determined based on the consideration of the following factors:
- A dating relationship must have existed within the past six (6) months
- The nature of the relationship must have been characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties
- The frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship must have included that the persons have been involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship
Any person who is the victim of dating violence and has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of another act of dating violence, or any person who has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of another act of dating violence, or the parent or legal guardian of any minor child who is living at home and who seeks an injunction for protection against dating violence on behalf of that minor child, has standing in circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against dating violence.
This cause of action for an injunction shall not require that the petitioner be represented by an attorney.
The clerk of the court shall provide a copy of this section, simplified forms, and clerical assistance for the preparation and filing of such a petition by any person who is not represented by counsel.
Other Family Issues
Other family law cases include adoptions, paternity, name change, child custody, and annulment.
- Adoptions are confidential. All papers and records pertaining to the adoption, including the original birth certificate, are confidential and subject to inspection only upon order of the court
- Paternity cases can be filed by any woman who is pregnant or has a child, any man who has reason to believe that he is / is not the father of a child, or any child may bring proceedings in the circuit court to determine the paternity of the child when paternity has not been established by law or otherwise
- Name changes for adults or minor children
- Annulment of a marriage
- Termination of parental rights proceedings pursuant to Section 63.087, Florida Statutes
- Emancipation removal of non-age
- Add termination of parental rights and emancipation
These self-help packets are for people who wish to represent themselves in civil proceedings. These packets are available for purchase in the Civil Division of the Courthouse or by linking to Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure.
When you connect with Florida Laws site, choose “Self-Help Center” from the list at the left-hand side of the screen. Then choose “Family Law Forms”.