Settling Parental Responsibility in Florida: 2 Simple Steps

In a settlement, parents agree on the issues in their case and submit it to the court for approval. Experts recommend settling your parental responsibility and time-sharing case whenever possible.

Settling is the fastest and least expensive way to resolve your case, and it gives you more control over the outcomes. Plus, it can be better for children, as parents avoid a contentious trial.

At any point before or during a case, parents can agree on a settlement using informal negotiation, mediation or other alternative resolution methods. If parents disagree over anything in a petition or counterpetition while opening a case, the court will order mandatory mediation to encourage settlement.

If parents only agree on some issues, they can submit a partial agreement to the court and go to trial over the other issues.

Custody X Change is software that creates parenting plans and schedules for your custody settlement.

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Pre-suit settlement

Parents who agree to settle from the outset can use the pre-suit settlement process, in which all issues are decided prior to opening the case. Once parents agree on everything, they file their settlement paperwork at the same time that they open a case.

The pre-suit settlement process is a streamlined option for parents who don't need the court to help them compromise. It's often used in collaborative law.

If you decide to use a pre-suit settlement, file the paperwork to open your case during Step 1 below.

Steps to settling
Step 1: File forms

The petitioner (or their lawyer) is responsible for filing settlement forms.

Ask your county clerk’s office if it requires different versions or additional forms.

To simplify the process, you can attach your Custody X Change parenting plan and time-sharing calendars to the court forms.

Possible: Attend a final hearing

In some counties or cases, the petitioner must schedule and attend a final hearing. The other parent must be notified of the hearing date and can generally choose whether to attend.

Usually, the hearing takes about 10 minutes. The judge reviews the agreement and may ask questions of parents or their lawyers. If the settlement meets all requirements, the judge signs off.

Step 2: Receive the final judgment

Once signed by a judge, a settlement agreement becomes a final judgment, and the case is closed. Keep your judgment in a safe place.

In cases that don't require final hearings, a judge will approve or deny the settlement within 10 days of submission.

After you’ve settled

The parental responsibility journey continues after you receive final orders. Now your responsibilities include:

To do all of this and more, use Custody X Change. The app’s calendars, journal, expenses tracker and parenting plan template will make life after settlement as straightforward as they made settlement itself.

Custody X Change is software that creates parenting plans and schedules for your custody settlement.

Prepare My Settlement Now

Custody X Change is software that creates parenting plans and schedules for your custody settlement.

Prepare My Settlement