Earlier this month, the Honorable Bertila Soto, Chief Judge for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, entered an order applicable to family cases in Miami; it is effective immediately.

Litigation can be a difficult process generally, and perhaps more so for families entering the judicial system.  The Order seeks to promote stability for parties in a divorce or paternity action, and applies to cases with or without children.

At the same time, it aims at providing parties with some guidance in a variety of areas revolving around the family, including–this is just a summary of what is covered and not legal advice of any kind:

  • Relocation of children;
  • Encourages voluntary child support payments until an order for child support is entered;
  • Provides shared parenting guidelines;
  • Requires parents to take the 4-hour parenting course – this has been required for some time, but is specifically included in the Order;
  • Requires mediation before the final hearing in a case, unless there is a permanent or temporary injunction against domestic violence;
  • Provides guidelines for how the parties are to conduct themselves in regards to each other;
  • Addresses the following property, debt, and records:
    • disposition of assets
    • business records
    • insurance policies
    • additional debt

The Order also contains a provision for sanctions and requires the petitioner in a case to serve a copy of the order on the other party at the time the initial petition is served.

You can download a copy at the link below or directly from the Eleventh Judicial Circuit website.


The Order can be changed by a later order or by written agreement of the parties.  The Order terminates once the final judgment is entered.