INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA SUPREME COURT APPROVED FAMILY
LAW FORM 12.903(b), ANSWER TO PETITION FOR DISSOLUTION OF
When should this form be used?
This form should be used when you are responding to a petition for dissolution of marriage and you
wish to admit or deny all of the allegations in the petition but you do not plan to file a
counterpetition seeking relief. You can use this form to answer any petition for dissolution of
marriage, whether or not there are minor child(ren).
This form should be typed or printed in black ink. After completing this form, you should sign the
form before a notary public or deputy clerk. You should file the original with the clerk of the circuit
court in the county where the petition was filed and keep a copy for your records. This must be
done within 20 days of receiving the petition.
What should I do next?
A copy of this form, along with all of the other forms required with this answer, must be mailed or
hand delivered to the other party in your case. You have 20 days to answer after being served with
the other party’s petition. !fter you file your answer, the case will generally proceed in one of the
following two ways:
UNCONTESTED... If you file an answer that agrees with everything in the other party’s petition and
you have complied with mandatory disclosure and filed all of the required papers, either party may
call the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant to set a final hearing. If you request the
final hearing, you must notify the other party of the hearing by using a Notice of Hearing (General),
Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.923, or other appropriate notice of hearing
CONTESTED... If you file an answer which disagrees with or denies anything in the petition, and you
are unable to settle the disputed issues, either party may file a Notice for Trial, Florida Supreme
Court Approved Family Law Form 12.924, after you have complied with mandatory disclosure and
filed all of the required papers. Some circuits may require the completion of mediation before a
final hearing may be set. You should contact the clerk, family law intake staff, or judicial assistant for
instructions on how to set your case for trial (final hearing).
Where can I look for more information?
Before proceeding, you should read “General Information for Self-Represented Litigants” found at
the beginning of these forms. The words that are in “bold underline” in these instructions are
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.903(b), Answer to Petition for
Dissolution of Marriage (12/10)