Family Court

Family court cases include juvenile dependency and delinquency, paternity, adoptions, name changes, domestic violence, and dissolution of marriage, including custody, visitation and support issues. 

To begin a Family Court case, you'll need the petition and other paperwork necessary when filing your case.  A list of packets available from the Clerk's office can be found in the Family Court Self Help Packets. Packets are available at your local Clerk of Court's Office.   Please note that courthouse staff cannot give legal advice, nor help you fill out any paperwork.

The Florida State Courts provide some pro se forms, but there are also additional forms that the Eighth Judicial Circuit requires that are not on the Florida State Courts site. For more information on the legal terms you may encounter on the forms and during the case process, please visit our Family Court Glossary.

Please note that forms cannot be filed online at this time. Following the instructions in your packet, you will file forms in person at your county's Clerk of Court's office. Before filing with the Clerk, have your forms notarized and make a copy of the forms for yourself. If you're having the other party served through the local Sheriff's Office, the Sheriff will require an additional copy.

If you have procedural questions that you would like answered in person regarding a case in Alachua County, you can schedule a twenty (20) minute, one-on-one appointment with the Pro Se Family Court Case Manager.  Appointments are offered twice a month in Room 400 of the Alachua County Family and Civil Justice Center.  Litigants will need to set up a specific appointment time and can do so by contacting the Family Court Office at (352) 374-3694, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

If you have questions about your case in Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy or Union Counties, please call the Pro Se Family Court Case Manager at (352) 374-3665.

If at any point during the process you wish to proceed with the help of an attorney, contact the Florida Bar's Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-342-8011.  If you cannot afford an attorney and are a victim of domestic violence you may be eligible for representation or assistance from Three Rivers Legal Services

Family Court Resources