Child support cases are usually started in Family Court in the county where the child lives. There is no filing fee in Family Court.

After a child support petition is filed, the other side must be "served" a summons, the petition, and the financial disclosure form. The person who filed the petition is the Petitioner and the other side is the Respondent. The summons tells the Petitioner and the Respondent when and where to come to Family Court for a hearing The Child Support Enforcement Unit can help you start the case.

Both the Petitioner and the Respondent have the right to hire their own lawyers. If a party can't afford to hire a lawyer, the court may assign one at no cost.

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Last Reviewed: January 1, 2023