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Step 1: Get the Court Forms You Need

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If you have been served Opens new window with a copy of papers asking the court to make custody and visitation orders, the way to let the court know what you want to do is to fill in and file a "Response" or "Answer".

NOTE: You may not need all of these forms. Or you may need more forms. If you're not sure which forms to use, talk to your Family Law Facilitator Opens
new window or a lawyer. 

For help in getting low-cost legal aid, click here. Opens new window

For help finding local court forms you may need, go to your county's court website: click here. Opens new
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IMPORTANT!  You do not have much time to fill out and file your court forms.

  • The days are counted from the date you were served with the papers by the other parent.
  • The papers you were served will have the name and address of the courthouse where you should go to file your Response or Answer.

    Tip:  To count the days, start with the day of the hearing.  Do not count that day.  Starting the day before, count backwards to 9.  That's the day you have to serve
    and file your papers to be sure the judge will consider them


First:

The first court form you need was included in the set of forms that was served on you. Check the list below to see which form you should fill out and sign:

  • Responsive Declaration to Request for Order
    (Form FL-320Opens new window

This is the response form to FL-300 ("Order to Show Cause") and must be filed within 9 court days before the hearing.

  • Child Custody, Visitation and Support Request (Form DV-105Opens new window

This is the answer form to DV-100 ("Domestic Violence") and must be filed within 9 court days before the hearing.

  • Response to Petition for Custody and Support of Minor Children
    (Form FL-270) Opens new window
    See the instructions Opens new window for this form.

This is the response form to FL-260 ("Petition for Custody") and must be filed within 30 days after service.

MORE ABOUT COURT FORMS:
  • For information about how to use fillable forms, click hereOpens new window
  • To download free Adobe Acrobat Reader, click here. Opens new window
  • To watch an introduction to Filling Out Judicial Council Forms, click here. Opens new window
  • To view short videos called "Paperwork Basics" (forms) and "Service of Process", click here. Opens new window
  • For more information about the forms on our site, click here. Opens new window


Next:

After you have filled out and signed your forms, you need to make three photocopies of them. You need to take the original and all three copies of your forms to the court to have them filed. 


Go to Step 2: File Your Papers at Court.
To find out how to do this, click on the "Next" button below. 

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