Florida Parental Responsibility Resources: Free Help

Don't go through the parental responsibility process on your own. Even if you can't afford an attorney, you have plenty of places to turn for support.

Bring calm to co‑parenting. Agree on a schedule and plan. Be prepared with everything documented.

Make My Florida Plan Now

In-depth guides

Use the following guides to lead you and your family through the various aspects of parental responsibility and time-sharing.

Legal aid services

Parents who can't afford to hire an attorney may be able to get free representation through their local legal aid office. You must meet the income eligibility requirements, which vary.

Many legal aid lawyers are multilingual and have expertise in special circumstances that may affect your case.

Here are legal aid offices in Florida's biggest counties:

Miami-Dade legal aid Broward legal aid
Palm Beach legal aid Hillsborough legal aid
Orange legal aid Pinellas legal aid
Duval legal aid Lee legal aid
Polk legal aid Brevard legal aid

Other legal aid groups serve smaller counties.

Court resources

The Florida family court system offers several tool kits to help parents understand its processes.

In addition, county self-help centers are designed for parents representing themselves (pro se litigants).

Your county may have a pro se coordinator, family law case manager or court clerk who will assist you with filing paperwork, scheduling court proceedings and tackling other administrative issues. They cannot offer legal advice.

The state of Florida also has a family court app.

Required parenting course

All parents involved in responsibility and time-sharing cases must complete a state-approved Parent Education and Family Stabilization course.

The four-hour course (which you do not have to take with the other parent) offers information on the family court process, child support, co-parenting and the effects of divorce and separation on children. It doesn't provide legal advice or counseling.

Anything you say during the course is confidential.

Parenting coordination

Parenting coordinators are child-focused family experts who help parents implement parenting plans. They monitor plan compliance for the court, help resolve parenting conflicts and work to ensure strong parent–child relationships.

Judges may order parenting coordination when a case has significant conflict or special circumstances. Parents can also request parenting coordination, and they often have to explain the reason for their request in a hearing.

Unless a fee waiver is granted, parents must pay the coordinator's fees. Depending on their incomes, they may be allowed to use a court-provided coordinator for a reduced rate. Court-provided coordination fees vary by county; private parenting coordinators typically charge between $150 and $300 per hour.

Court-provided coordinators are assigned without parents' input. When hiring a private coordinator, parents agree on one or have the judge appoint one.

Our professional sources

For more help, consider reaching out to one of our sources. The professionals below provided expertise for this Florida guide to parental responsibility, and we hope they can help you too.

BCS Legal
Bethany C. Szewczyk, Attorney at Law
Orlando, FL

Brodzki Jacobs
Nancy Brodzki, Attorney at Law
Coral Springs, FL

Cleaveland & Cleaveland, P.L.
Nancy Cleaveland, Attorney at Law
Jacksonville, FL

Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida
Sally Burgos, Attorney at Law
Inverness, FL

The Florida Bar Foundation Pro Bono Program
Claud B. Nelson III, Attorney at Law
Director, Pro Bono Program
Maitland, FL

Law Office of Lobb & Mohr
William J. Lobb, Attorney at Law
Bartow, FL

Law Offices of Russell D. Knight
Russell D. Knight, Attorney at Law
Naples, FL

Psychological Center for Expert Evaluations
Dr. Kristin Tolbert, Psychologist
Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Custody X Change app

The process of deciding custody requires serious organization. You may need to create a parenting plan, draft multiple custody schedules, track your time with your child, calculate expenses and beyond.

The Custody X Change app enables you to do all of that in one place.

With a parenting plan template, customizable custody calendars, an expense tracker and more, Custody X Change makes sure you're prepared for whatever arises in your journey to child custody.

Take advantage of our technology to stay on top of all the moving parts of your case.

Bring calm to co‑parenting. Agree on a schedule and plan. Be prepared with everything documented.

Make My Florida Plan Now

Bring calm to co‑parenting. Agree on a schedule and plan. Be prepared with everything documented.

Make My Plan

Bring calm to co‑parenting. Agree on a schedule and plan. Be prepared with everything documented.

Make My Florida Plan Now

No thanks, I don't need a parenting plan