Self Help (Pro Se)

Important Disclaimer

Pro Se means "for yourself" and is the phrase designated to describe those persons who are representing themselves in Family Court who have not hired a lawyer to represent them.


The Self Help (Pro Se) Divison of the 10th Judicial Circuit for Polk County was implemented in January, 1995, pursuant to a Supreme Court Mandate requiring all circuits to provide assistance to the public in gaining access to the Court in matters of domestic relations, including but not limited to Dissolution Of Marriage, Paternity, Adoption, Name Changes, Grandparent Visitation, and modifications and enforcement of such matters. The purpose of the Self-Help Program is to assist citizens with general information and requirements for compliance in gaining access to the Family Court system.


Forms are available at the Clerks' Office on the first floor of the Courthouse in Bartow and branch offices in Lakeland and Winter Haven for Pro Se litigants who have decided to file their own family law suits which are uncontested.

The following forms are available from the Clerk:
  • Dissolution of Marriage With No Dependent Children and No Property ($20)
  • Dissolution of Marriage With No Dependent Children and Property ($20)
  • Dissolution of Marriage With Dependent Children and Property ($25)
  • Dissolution of Marriage With Dependent Children and No Property ($25)
  • Joint Petition for Step-Parent Adoption ($25)
  • Name Change for Minor Child ($15)
  • Name Change for Adult ($15)
  • Supplemental Petition for Modification of Child Support ($20)
  • Supplemental Petition for Modification of Custody or Visitation and Other Relief ($20)
Complete approved forms are available at the Supreme Court website. Some situations may not be covered by available forms. Litigants are urged to consult with an attorney. The Court's Self Help personnel are not permitted to give legal advice.

Forms which have been approved by the Florida Supreme Court to be used in filing law suits in family court are available. Each booklet of forms contains information on the use of each form and how the fill it out. There are also instructions on how to file a case and how to get a final hearing.

The Self Help Division screens the court files and determines if the litigants have met the criteria pursuant to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure prior to setting the case for final hearing.

The staff is available to assist Monday thru Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm by calling 863-534-4015. If the line is busy, callers may leave a message

Information on filing fees may be obtained from the Clerk at 863-534-4488

Important Disclaimer

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