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March 1, 2014
Amendments to the Family Law Rules of Procedure

The Florida Bar’s Family Law Rules Committee has submitted to the Florida Supreme Court a regular-cycle report proposing amendments to Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. The committee proposes new rules 12.012 (Minimization of Sensitive Information); and 12.364 (Social Investigations) and amendments to rules 12.070 (Process); 12.200 (Case Management and Pretrial Conferences); 12.363 (Evaluation of Minor Child); 12.490 (General Magistrates); 12.491 (Child Support Enforcement); and 12.560 (Discovery in Aid of Execution); and forms 12.901(a) (Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage); 12.902(b) (Family Law Financial Affidavit (Short Form)); and 12.902(c) (Family Law Financial Affidavit (Long Form)). The court invites all interested persons to comment on the proposed amendments, which are summarized below and reproduced in full online at All comments must be filed with the court on or before April 1, with a certificate of service verifying that a copy has been served on Committee Chair Mary Louise Miller Wagstaff, 161 14th Street N.W., Largo 33770-2290, [email protected], and on the Bar staff liaison to the committee, Ellen Sloyer, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300, [email protected], as well as a separate request for oral argument if the person filing the comment wishes to participate in oral argument, which may be scheduled in this case. Further, if comments are directed toward the proposed amendment to rule 12.070, the certificate of service shall also verify that a copy has been served on the proponent of the amendment Raymond McNeal, P. O. Box 601, Ocala 34478, [email protected]. If comments are directed toward the proposed amendments to forms 12.902(b) and 12.902(c), the certificate of service shall also verify that a copy has been served on the proponent of those amendments Douglas Balog, P. O. Box 65004, Palm Bay 32906, [email protected]. The chair has until April 22 to file a response to any comments filed with the court. If filed by an attorney in good standing with The Florida Bar, the comment must be electronically filed via the Portal in accordance with In re Electronic Filing in the Supreme Court of Florida via the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC13-7 (Feb. 18, 2013). If filed by a nonlawyer or a lawyer not licensed to practice in Florida, the comment must be electronically filed via e-mail in accordance with In re Mandatory Submission of Electronic Copies of Documents, Fla. Admin. Order No. AOSC04-84 (Sept. 13, 2004). Electronically filed documents must be submitted in Microsoft Word 97 or higher. Any person unable to submit a comment electronically must mail or hand-deliver the originally signed comment to the Florida Supreme Court, Office of the Clerk, 500 South Duval Street, Tallahassee 32399-1927; no additional copies are required or will be accepted.


12.012 (Minimization of Sensitive Information) New rule created in response to Supreme Court’s request that committee review rules for additional privacy issues. This new rule, placed at the beginning of the rules set, draws attorneys’ attention to the requirements to conform to Fla.R.Jud.Admin. 2.425 (Minimization of the Filing of Sensitive Information).
12.070 (Process) Creates a new subdivision (c)(2) to govern constructive service in any case or proceeding involving parental responsibility, custody, or time-sharing with a minor child.
12.200 (Case Management and Pretrial Conferences) Creates new subdivision (a)(1)(P) to allow the court to consider discovery of electronically stored information at pretrial conference.
12.363 (Evaluation of Minor Child) (1) Amends rule to change “qualified licensed mental health professional” to “expert” to reflect that some evaluations are conducted by persons other than mental health experts.
(2) Amends subdivision (a) to remove reference to “social or home study investigation” because of creation of Rule 12.364 governing these investigations.
(3) Amends (a)(1) to add that there be a determination of the need for an expert before the court appoints an expert.
(4) Amends subdivision (b) to provide that the expert’s report should be provided to the party rather than the attorney.
(5) Amends subdivision (d) to require notice to the parties rather than their attorneys if the expert requests communication with the court.
(6) Deletes sentence from (e) requiring that the report not be considered by the court until it is properly admitted into evidence.
(7) Creates new subdivision (f) to clarify that this rule does not apply to parenting coordinators or social investigations.
12.364 (Social Investigations) Creates new rule to govern social investigations under F.S. 61.20.
12.490 (General Magistrates) Amends subdivision (b)(3) to require that the order of referral shall state the name of the specific general magistrate to whom the case is being referred. Changes “papers” to “documents.”
12.491 (Child Support Enforcement) Corrects cross-reference to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration in subdivision (e)(2).
12.560 (Discovery in Aid of Execution) Deletes subdivision (e) because the filing of the notice of compliance is unnecessary and because the Fact Information Sheet should not be filed with the court.
12.901(a) (Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage) Amends instructions and form to remove requirement that a financial affidavit be filed in conformance with removal of requirement from Fla.Fam.L.R.P. 12.105 in 2011. (See 78 So. 3d 1045.)
12.902(b) (Family Law Financial Affidavit (Short Form)) In conformity with Form 12.902(c), adds instruction that if expenses listed do not reflect what is actually paid currently that “estimate” should be written next to amount.
12.902(c) (Family Law Financial Affidavit (Long Form)) (1) Adds instruction that if expenses listed do not reflect what is actually paid currently that “estimate” should be written next to amount.
(2) Amends Monthly Insurance in Expense section so that health insurance (unless not listed elsewhere on form) not be included in insurance expenses.

[Revised: 12-07-2017]