Frequently Asked Questions
The court staff's answers to common domestic case questions

Marriage Questions

·         What is the difference between Legal Separation, Divorce & Invalidity (annulment)?

·         What is the time frame to get an annulment?

·         Do I have to file for divorce if I am common law married, and how do I know if I am common law married?


Divorce Questions

·         I want to file for divorce right away. What is required to get my case started?

·         The other party refuses to sign the paperwork.  Can I file on my own? 

·         After I file my first forms, when do I need to have all of my other forms submitted by?

·         Why can’t I get divorced right away? We haven’t been together for over 10 years?

·         If we agree on everything, and sign the petition together, do we have to appear in court?

·         Do I have to submit all of the forms like the Separation Agreement and Sworn Financial Statement even if we agree on everything, and/or have nothing to divide, and/or I haven’t seen the other party in 10 years? 

·         When I am divorced will the court notify me, and do I need a copy of my divorce decree?


Initial Status Conference Questions

·         What happens in the Initial Status Conference (ISC) and what is it?

·         Do both parties have to appear at the Initial Status Conference? 

·         What if I need to change the date of my initial status conference or am unable to attend in person?


Protection Orders Questions

·         How do I obtain a restraining order?

·         What if there is a restraining order between me and the other party?


Child Support & Custody Questions

·         What if I only want to file for child support?

·         If I am married and not ready to file a divorce can I just file for custody?

·         How do I file for temporary custody of my children?

·         Do I need to file for custody of my children separately?

·         If I am a minor, and want to file for custody of my children, can I fill out and file the papers myself?

·         Why do I have to take a parenting class?


Service of Process Questions

·         What is “service”? How do I perform a service of process?

·         What do I do if I attempt to serve the other party, but they cannot be found?

·         How do I perform service on a Child, Including a Parent who is under eighteen years old?

·         What if I’m serving a business entity, not an individual?


 Questions about: Filing, Forms, and Information Access

·         What does it mean when the clerk tells me that I must submit documents/forms using the “mandatory caption”?

·         How do I keep my address and phone number confidential on my court documents?

·         How do I get and emergency hearing?


Payment Questions

·         What if I am unable to pay the filing fees for my case?


Legal Representation Questions

·         Can an attorney be provided for me  by the court, or can I request a court-appointed attorney?

·         If I give someone a Power of Attorney to handle my legal matters can they appear in court for me and sign court documents on my behalf?


Understanding the People in the Legal System

·         What’s the difference between a Judge and a magistrate?

·         What is a Family Court Facilitator, and what do they do?

·         What is a Child and Family Investigator (CFI)


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