Fla. Fam. Law. R. P. 12.407

As amended through October 19, 2023
(a) Prohibition. Unless otherwise provided by law or another rule of procedure, children who are witnesses, potential witnesses, or related to a family law case, are prohibited from being deposed or brought to a deposition, from being subpoenaed to appear at any family law proceeding, or from attending any family law proceedings without prior order of the court based on good cause shown. In addition to in-person proceedings, this rule applies to family law proceedings held remotely via communication technology. The parties, counsel, and the court must ensure that children are not present or nearby during any remote proceedings or able to overhear any remote proceedings.
(b) Related Proceedings. In a family law proceeding held concurrently with a proceeding governed by the Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure, the Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure govern as to the child's appearance in court.
(c) Uncontested Adoption. This rule does not apply to uncontested adoption proceedings.

FL. Fam. Law. R. P. 12.407

Amended effective 11/1/2023; amended by 47 Fla. L. Weekly S188, effective 10/1/2022; amended December 13, 2018, effective 1/1/2019; amended by 259 So.3d 752, effective 12/13/2018.


1995 Adoption. This rule is intended to afford additional protection to minor children by avoiding any unnecessary involvement of children in family law litigation. While due process considerations prohibit an absolute ban on child testimony, this rule requires that a judge determine whether a child's testimony is necessary and relevant to issues before the court prior to a child being required to testify.

2022 Amendment. The ambit of the rule is expanded to include remote proceedings conducted via communication technology and requires the court, parties, and counsel to ensure that minor children are not present during or do not overhear such remote proceedings.

Committee Notes

2018 Amendment. This rule is not intended to prohibit children who are unrelated to the litigation from attending court or depositions in family law cases for educational purposes and other reasons. This rule is intended to protect children who may be harmed by unnecessary involvement in family law proceedings. Children who may be harmed by unnecessary involvement include children who may be the subject of the family law case and children who are witnesses, are potential witnesses, or have extensive involvement with the family that is the subject of a current family law case.