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Stepparent Adoption FAQs

My spouse wants to adopt my child. How do we do that?

You may purchase the Stepparent Adoption packet in the Court Business Center/Copy Center, 6th Floor, Room 630 of the Edgecomb Courthouse or you may access the forms online.

When my divorce was finalized the court only put in the paperwork 'liberal access' on the issue of visitation. What does that mean? My Ex shows up whenever they want to and expects to be able to take the kids and it is causing a problem. How can I change this?

Your first step is to attempt mediation to see if both parties can come to an agreement about a visitation schedule. Mediation is required as the first step. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, then you may purchase a packet for a Supplemental Petition to Modify Custody/Visitation and have the other party served with the papers. The packet and Self-Help Instructions or you may be access the forms online.  

 My girlfriend won't let me visit with my child. I'm willing to pay child support, but I want to be able to see my child. What can I do?

You may file a Petition to Establish Paternity and for Related Relief. You can ask the court to establish that you are the biological father of the child and ask for visitation. You may purchase a packet in the Court Business Center/Copy Center, 6th Floor, Room 630 of the Edgecomb Courthouse, or you may access the form online. For a nominal free you may contact the Department of Revenue, who will help you to establish paternity for a nominal fee.  

The Hearing Officer ordered me to pay child support, yet I do not have visitation rights with my child. What can I do?

The Hearing Officer only has the authority to address the issues of support. If you want to address any other issues with the court, you must file a petition asking the court for what you want. There are Family Law Supreme Court forms available in the Clerk's Office, Room 101 of the Edgecomb Courthouse or you may access the forms online. You may want to see if any of those forms will help you to accomplish your goal.

My grandchild's parents will not let me see him/her. What can I do? Don't grandparents have any rights?

The Florida Supreme Court recently made a ruling regarding grandparents' rights. You should seek the advice of an attorney about that ruling and how it has affected those rights before filing anything with the court.  

These forms are confusing. I don't understand some of the words. Can someone help me fill them out?

If you need assistance filling out a form you may want to visit the Legal Information Center located in Room 203 of the Edgecomb Courthouse. The Legal Information Center is a free program to provide information to people who are representing themselves in family law, landlord/tenant, or small claims cases in Hillsborough County. For Further information please go to the Legal Information Center. If you do not understand any forms or procedures in your case, it is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of an attorney.

How do I know which General Magistrate or Hearing Officer my case is assigned to?

Please view the General Magistrate / Hearing Officer Division Referral Assignment Table by clicking this link.