Family Services


Family Law


Family Law refers to case types such as adoption, divorce, name changes and paternity that are filed through the Clerk’s Office.

Adoption


The Clerk’s Office is responsible for processing all adoptions in Orange County. We ensure that all paperwork is filed with the appropriate department and adhere to strict confidentiality laws.

The Clerk's Office is prohibited from offering legal advice regarding adoptions. Please refer any adoption questions to your attorney or adoption agency.

All records of adoption are confidential and exempt from the provisions of Section 119.07 (1) Florida Statutes, except as provided in Section 63.162 F.S. A court order is required to allow access to an adoption file.




Types of Divorce


Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

A married couple may obtain a divorce through the simplified dissolution procedure if all of the following statements are true about both spouses at the time that they jointly file a petition for simplified dissolution of marriage:

  • The couple has no minor or dependent children
  • The couple has no adopted children under 18 years of age
  • A spouse is not pregnant 
  • At least one of the spouses has lived in Florida for the past six months 
  • The couple has made arrangements for the division of property and the payment of their obligations
  • Both parties agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken
  • Both parties agree to use the simplified dissolution of marriage procedure
  • Both parties must be present at the hearing 
  • Both parties are aware of the following: 
    • After the dissolution becomes final, neither spouse has any right to expect money or support from the other, except for what is included in the property settlement agreement
    • By choosing the simplified dissolution procedure, both spouses give up certain legal rights that they would have if they used the regular dissolution procedure

Dissolution of Marriage with No Children and No Property
A married couple may obtain a divorce using this process if they have no marital assets and/or marital liabilities, have no dependent children and neither spouse is pregnant. 

At least one of the parties must have lived in Florida for 6 months prior to filing.

Dissolution of Marriage with No Children
A married couple may obtain a divorce using this process if they have marital assets and/or marital liabilities, but have no dependent children and neither spouse is pregnant. 

At least one of the parties must have lived in Florida for 6 months prior to filing.

Dissolution of Marriage with Children
A married couple may obtain a divorce using this process if they have dependent or minor children together or if either spouse is pregnant. 

At least one of the parties must have lived in Florida for 6 months prior to filing.

All divorcing parents are required to attend an approved parenting class. This class attempts to reduce the impact of divorce on young children. Download the Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course Providers list to locate a provider near you.



Filing for Divorce


Dissolution of Marriage is the legal term for divorce. 

Forms
Forms and filing instructions may be purchased in room 320 of the Orange County Courthouse or customers may obtain forms by visiting www.flcourts.org.

Filing for Divorce

  • Take completed forms to room 330 of the courthouse before 3:30 p.m. to be reviewed and notarized 
  • Return to room 320 to file the completed documents
  • Once the case is filed, Family Court Services will contact the petitioner with instructions (usually within 30 days)
  • If no further filing is required, the petitioner will receive a hearing date and time by mail



Name Change


Requirements
 
Before a name change hearing can be set, the petitioner must have fingerprints taken electronically by an authorized agency.

The fingerprints are then submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for criminal history records checks. The results are sent to the Clerk’s Office by FDLE.  

A background check is not required for petitions to restore a former name or for changes of name in proceedings for divorce or adoption of children.

If the name change request is on behalf of a minor, consent may be required from the parent not filing the request. Note that if the name change is for a minor, the fingerprints of the adult petitioner must be taken and submitted, not the minor’s.

Forms
Forms and filing instructions may be purchased in room 320 of the Orange County Courthouse or customers may obtain forms by visiting www.flcourts.org.

When filing for a name change at the courthouse, you must first go to Family Court Services in room 330 before 3:30 p.m. to have your pleadings reviewed and notarized.



Paternity


Paternity cases may be filed by a birth mother or suspected father to legally establish who the biological father is of the child or children in question.

Once paternity has been established, the court may address several issues, including child support, custody and visitation rights. 

Forms
Forms and filing instructions may be purchased in room 320 of the Orange County Courthouse or customers may obtain forms by visiting www.flcourts.org.

When filing for paternity at the courthouse, you must first go to Family Court Services in room 330 before 3:30 p.m. to have your pleadings reviewed and notarized.



Fees and Forms of Payment


Filing Description Fee

$300.00          Petition to establish paternal responsibility and visitation, paternity        
$412.50  Name changes  
$400.00 Adoption and termination of parental rights (TPR) 
$395.00  Counter petition for name change, adoption and termination of parental rights 
$295.00  Counter petition for the same case type 
$392.50  Counter petition for a dissolution in a non-dissolution case 
$408.00  Divorce - includes the final judgment recording fee (does not include summons) 
$400.00  Petition for Custody by Extended Family 

Other Filing Fees  
$2.00               Certification    
$2.00  Sign/seal subpoena 
$50.00  Petition for modifications of final judgment 
$50.00  Case re-open fee 
$10.00  Issuance of summons on new and existing cases 

Forms of Payment
  • Cash (in person only)
  • Personal check, cashier's check or money order (payable to the Orange County Clerk of Courts)
  • MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express (a $3.99 surcharge will apply)



Self Help Center - Family Law


The Clerk’s Office has a Self Help Center that is designed to provide legal assistance to Orange County citizens who do not have a private attorney.

The Self Help Center staff can assist customers with family law cases.

Self Help Center services include attorney consultations, form completion assistance and notary and copy services.

To learn more about the Clerk’s Self Help Center, including how to schedule low-cost attorney consultations, visit the Self Help Center section of our website.