Sunday, December 10, 2023

Frequently Asked Questions for Family Court Services Unit

Related Information

QWhat assistance is provided by the Family Court Services Unit?
The following court-ordered services/interventions are provided by the Family Court Services Unit:

Crisis Assistance
Provide rapid, transitory response when the judiciary finds that an issue requires urgent attention such as when imminent danger to parent or child might exist

Alienation/ Reunification
Explore and assist with parental alienation and/or feelings of estrangement experienced by a child toward a parent while attempting to reestablish the relationship

Child/Family Assistance
Assistance with issues immediately affecting the welfare of the children through interviews with family members and through observations of their relationship with each other

Short term parenting coordination and re-education that emphasizes improvement of joint parenting skills and communication; referrals to community agencies/professionals for counseling may be provided.

Marital Reconciliation
Assists parents in clarifying parties’ motivation to separate/divorce and provides referral as needed.

Time-sharing issues/ Schedule
Addressing the parties' issues regarding the sharing of their child(ren), assisting parties in the clarification of an existing time-sharing plan and/or the development of a more meaningful arrangement

Parenting Coordination (for indigent)
Designation of parenting coordinator to assist the parties in the facilitation of their parenting plan, monitor compliance of court orders, and provide referrals to community resources as needed (6 meetings per order)

Supervised Visitation/ Monitored Exchanges
Observation of parents and their children in a safe, friendly environment when the physical and/or emotional welfare of a child may be otherwise threatened

Community Referral
Facilitation of referrals to community agencies and/or private professionals for services including counseling, extended co-parenting, parenting classes, psychological/psychiatric evaluations, substance abuse evaluation/treatment, parenting coordination, and DNA testing

Social Investigation
Home Study facilitated(standardized Order for Social Investigation must accompany referral to FCS)

Substance Abuse Testing
The Village is available to administer drug tests and breathalyzer by separate court order.

Cases with active Domestic Violence Injunctions are not to be referred to FCS for joint counseling or co-parenting.

Documentation: The Court Order of Referral to Family Court Services specifies that all communications with the unit are not confidential. Family Court Services reports to the Court upon completion of the intervention, or as necessary, according to the specific needs the case. Please inform FCS of upcoming relevant hearings so that appropriate documentation may be provided. 
QHow can someone access these services?
A court order is necessary to obtain assistance from the Family Court Services Unit. Family Court Services participants are referred to the Unit through the Family Division, Domestic Violence Division, Unified Family Court, and General Magistrates. An Order of Referral must be signed and a copy forwarded to the office in order to initiate the requested services. The parties are required to contact the Unit within 5 working days for the provision of initial data or the court will be noticed of non-compliance. 
QWhat are the address, telephone number and hours of operation?
Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center
175 N.W. 1st Avenue Suite 1503
Miami, Florida 33128 
Telephone: (305) 349-5508
Fax: (305) 349-5634 

Family Court Services operates during normal business hours, 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM, and includes extended hours for Supervised Visitation/Monitored Exchanges on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 4:00 PM until 8 PM, and Saturdays, 10 AM until 4 PM.
QWhat fees are involved with the services and who is responsible for payment?

Although there are no fees for intervention provided directly by Family Court Services, there may be fees for services referred outside of the Unit. For those services, the Court decides which party is responsible for payment, or how costs will be shared between the parties.

QI have been court-ordered to the Family Court Services Unit. Are they responsible for scheduling hearings in my case with the Judge or General Magistrate?
No. All parties need to request hearings through their attorneys, if represented. If they are not represented by an attorney, parties can receive instructions through the Family Court Self-Help Program at 305-349-7800.
QI have a case in Family Court. Who do I call if I have questions?
1) For general case information, please contact the Clerk's Office at (305) 275-1155. 

2) If you are not represented by an attorney and are filing a divorce action, name change, paternity, child custody or post-judgment modification case, Click Here to learn more about the Family Court Self Help Divorce Program.
3) If you have been court-ordered by a Judge or General Magistrate to the Family Court Services Unit for any of the Services and Interventions listed above, you may contact them at (305) 349-5508.
QWho do I call if I am a person with a disability who needs assistance?
Please contact ADA Coordinator, at: Voice Mail: (305) 349-7175 TDD: (305) 349-7174 Fax No:. (305) 349-7355
Back To Top