The “Stand-Alone” Family Law Rules Adopted in Florida on March 16, 2017

After a lengthy notice and debate process, the Florida Supreme Court has finally issued its long-anticipated decision to adopt the “Stand-Alone” Family Law Rules of Procedure. These rules can be found at Rules 12.005 through 12.630, Fla. Fam. L.R.P.

Since the adoption of the initial Family Law Rules of Procedure in the mid-1990’s, the majority of the initial Family Law Rules made specific reference back to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. This resulted in both attorneys and unrepresented litigants having to oftentimes perform cumbersome research into two different sets of procedural rules in order to navigate their way through court proceedings. The project of converting these Family Law Rules, so that those references to the Civil Rules are no longer made by any Family Law Rule, was undertaken many years ago by the Florida Bar’s Family Law Rules Committee. In its decision dated March 16, 2017, the Court ratified all of the recommendations of the Rules Committee, with very limited exceptions. The Court additionally established the new Rules as being effective immediately on that same date.

Accordingly, a new set of procedural rules for family law matters have now become applicable to any person in the State of Florida who is presently involved in a family law dispute.

The six attorneys within Allen Dell’s Family Law Department are ready to assist and advise family law clients, as well as attorneys in other practice areas, with regard to the intricacies of these new “stand-alone” rules and forms. Please contact one of our family law attorneys today to assist you with any questions you may have regarding this significant change in the law.

The Court’s 177-page decision (including the revised Supreme Court-approved Forms) can be found at this link: