Step 1: Get the Court Forms You Need
If you have been served 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 or a lawyer.
For help in getting low-cost legal aid, click here.
For help finding local court forms you may need, go to your county's court website: click here.
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
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
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-105)
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
See the instructions 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 here.
- To download free Adobe Acrobat Reader, click here.
- To watch an introduction to Filling Out Judicial Council Forms, click here.
- To view short videos called "Paperwork Basics" (forms) and "Service of Process", click here.
- For more information about the forms on our site, click here.
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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