Family Division

What are the filing fees for the Family Division?

Click here to view Family Fee Schedule.

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How are adoptions processed?

All adoptions are confidential cases. The filing fee for Adoptions is $442.00. This includes the Sealing fee. The Clerk's Office does not have any forms for a Petition of Adoption. We suggest you research the Florida State Statutes located in the Law Library in the Broward County Courthouse. The Clerk's Office cannot give you any advice. You are responsible for preparing all necessary pleadings. If you are unable to proceed without assistance, we suggest you contact an attorney.

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How are Name Changes processed?

The filing fee for name change is $401.00 in cash or money order. The Clerk's Office sells forms for a petition for name change in Room 248 at the main courthouse. You may also obtain a copy of the type of form to use from the law books located in the Public Library or in the Law Library in the North Wing, First Floor of the County Courthouse. The Clerk's Office cannot give you any legal advice. You are responsible for preparing all necessary pleadings. If you are unable to proceed without assistance, we suggest you contact an attorney.

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How are Modifications of Final Judgment processed in Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) cases?

Please be advised that pursuant to Broward County Ordinance 91-14 Sec. 10-96(2), a service charge of $50.00 is required to be collected by the Clerk of Court for all requests for Modification of a Final Judgment in a Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) case.

If you are an attorney representing a Petitioner, you may submit the appropriate filing fee with your trust account check.

If you are a Petitioner seeking modification, without representation of an attorney, please submit the filing fee of $50.00, along with your request for modification. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CLERK'S OFFICE CAN ONLY ACCEPT MONEY ORDERS MADE PAYABLE TO THE CLERK OF COURTS OR CASH IF PAID IN PERSON. NO PERSONAL CHECKS!!!!

Pursuant to Administrative Order II 95-F-5, upon the filing of a supplemental complaint or petition for modification, the Clerk is NO LONGER directed to open a new file. All modification proceedings filed with the Clerk shall retain the same modification case number assigned to the initial modification case and remain with the Family Court Division assigned thereto. If no modification file was previously opened, it shall be filed in the original action and remain with the original Family Court Division. If no Family Court Division was previously assigned, it shall be randomly assigned to a Family Court Division.

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How is a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) processed?

You may purchase a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) kit in Room 248 of the Central Courthouse, in Fort Lauderdale, if you meet the following requirements:

  • Both parties are in agreement.
  • One of the parties must be a resident of the State of Florida for six months. A witness is required to attest to this fact.
  • No dependent or minor children.
  • All debts and property have been settled between the parties.
  • Both parties must appear for the Final Hearing.
  • The witness may be present at the time of filing, or you may submit a notarized witness form available in your kit.
  • Parties must have photo ID at the time of filing, or the documents must be notarized.
  • The Court will set a date for the Final Hearing at the time of filing.

Please provide four (4) extra copies of your hearing form and two (2) self-addressed stamped envelopes for both Husband and Wife. You both will receive a copy of the Hearing Notice and date by mail. This date will be no sooner than twenty (20) days after the filing.

The filing fee is $409.00 in Cash or Money Order. The Clerk will not accept personal checks. If you do not meet the requirements for a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce), you may obtain other Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) kits. These are sold in Room 248 at the main courthouse and in local bookstores or newsstands. The Clerk cannot assist you with these kits. You will be acting as your own attorney and must do all your own research, or you may obtain an attorney.

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How do I Obtain a Restraining Order for Domestic/Repeat/Dating/Stalking/Sexual Violence?

For information and procedures on obtaining a Restraining Order, call the Family Intake Unit at 954 831-5570 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. They are located at the Broward County Courthouse, 201 S.E. 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 33301, Room 248.

You may contact the Women in Distress hotline for counseling and shelter at 954 761-1133, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You may obtain a Domestic Violence Restraining Order against a husband, wife, ex-husband, ex-wife, blood relative residing in the same household or any other person you are, or were, residing with as if family. You may also obtain a Restraining Order against a person with whom you had a child, whether you are living together or not.

However, for an act of Repeat Violence, you may file for a Restraining Order against anyone. There must have been two (2) occurrences or acts of physical or sexual abuse, and one (1) occurrence must have been in the last six (6) months. The Judge may require you to furnish the police reports as filed.

A dating violence restraining order may be filed by individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The dating relationship must have existed within the past 6 months.

A stalking violence restraining order maybe filed against any individual who maliciously and repeatedly follows, harasses and engages in a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time.

A sexual violence restraining order may be filed for any one incident of sexual battery, lewd or lascivious act committed upon or in presence of a person younger than 16 yrs of age, luring or enticing a child, sexual performance by a child or any other forcible felony wherein a sexual act is committed or attempted.

To obtain a Restraining Order, you must appear in person, in the Domestic Violence Division in Room 248 of the Broward County Courthouse, 201 Southeast 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale, Fl. Please do not bring children with you, as there is limited space and you may be at the Courthouse for at least 3 to 5 hours. You must have a photo I.D. with signature.

If you have a Police Report, please bring this with you. The Domestic Violence Unit will provide the forms and assist you with filling out the papers. The file will then be reviewed by the assigned Judge. It is recommended that you come as early as possible as your stay through this process may take 3 to 5 hours.

The Clerk's hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, however, no new petitions will be processed after 5:00 p.m. unless a domestic violence petitioner cannot find shelter through family, friends, or local shelters until the next business day.

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What is the Pro Se Self Help Unit?

The Pro Se Self Help Unit, located in room 248 of the main courthouse, provides local and Florida Supreme Court approved Family Law Forms for a fee to those who choose to represent themselves or can not afford an attorney.  Forms for divorce, paternity, custody/visitation, stepparent adoption, custody by extended family and other various forms may be purchased between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.  The pro se self help staff does not provide legal advice.

The Florida Supreme Court offers free access to the approved Family Law Forms at www.flcourts.org. Click on self help, then Family Law Forms.

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