Child Support Pro Se Instructions

Instructions for Respondents in Child Support Enforcement Cases

  1. The first step to take in representing yourself in a family law action is to read the form packet thoroughly. READ ALL OF THE MATERIALS AND PAY ATTENTION TO ALL OF THE INSTRUCTIONS!
  2. After reading the form packet, determine which forms you need to fill out. If you require additional forms which are not available in the form packet, contact your circuit Clerk’s Office, county law library or check online at www.flcourts.org. If you choose to represent yourself, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to determine which forms you need to file.
  3. On each document fill in your heading according to the following format substituting the county in which you are filing.

    IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE TWELFTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR ___________ COUNTY, FLORIDA

    For example, litigants filing in Manatee County would enter the following header

    IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE TWELFTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR MANATEE COUNTY, FLORIDA

  4. File the required forms with the Office of the Clerk of Court in your county.
  5. After you have filed all of the required forms, wait at least three business days before you request a hearing by filing a Form C. The Form C is also available at the Clerk’s Office. All required documents must be in the court file before a hearing may be requested.
  6. You will be contacted by MAIL regarding your hearing date
  7. If your pleading requires service by a process server: When completing the Summons form, the address for the Clerk of Court must be inserted:

    Manatee County:
    P.O 25400, BRADENTON, FL 34206 or
    1115 MANATEE AVENUE WEST,
    BRADENTON, FL 34205
    Sarasota County:
    P.O. BOX 3079,
    SARASOTA, FL 34230 or
    2000 MAIN STREET,
    SARASOTA, FL 34237
    DeSoto County:
    115 EAST OAK STREET,
    BASEMENT
    ,
    ARCADIA, FL 34266
  8. When you attend your final hearing, you should dress appropriately. If you are inappropriately dressed, you could be sent away!
  9. DO NOT bring minor children to court with you.
  10. You MUST attend your hearing. If you request a hearing and do not attend the court may dismiss your action and you may need to repeat the process from the beginning.
  11. Be aware that if there are any errors in your paperwork, you may not get your final judgment on the date you have set for your hearing. Remember, it is your responsibility to read the instructions thoroughly and properly complete the required paperwork.
  12. Judicial Assistants, Hearing Officer’s Assistants, Magistrate’s Assistants and the Clerk’s Office personnel cannot give you legal advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your legal rights and obligations, or if you feel uncomfortable representing yourself, you are strongly advised to seek help from an attorney.

If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in this proceeding, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. Please contact the Jury Office in your County.

Manatee County: P.O. Box 25400, Bradenton, Florida, 34206, (941) 741-4062. If you are hearing or voice impaired, call 771.

Sarasota County: P.O. Box 3079, Sarasota, Florida, 34230-3079, (941) 861-7400. If you are hearing or voice impaired, call 771.

DeSoto County: 115 East Oak Street, Arcadia, Florida, 34266, (863) 993-4876. If you are hearing or voice impaired, call 771.