File your parentage Petition and Summons

Once you complete your forms, you need to file them with the court and pay a filing fee of $435-$450. If you can’t afford the fee, you can ask the court to waive it. 

How to file forms with the court

  • Take your forms to the court clerk

    Go to the same courthouse you listed on your forms. You can also ask another adult to file papers for you.

    At the courthouse, you’ll file the forms you filled out by giving the original and the copies to the clerk. If you filled out additional forms to request a temporary order, give these to the clerk as well.

    The clerk will give you a case number and stamp the forms. The court will keep the original and return the copies to you. One is for you, the other for the other person in the parentage case (the respondent).

    Yes, you can file by mail. Mail the original and copies to the clerk. You need to include the filing fee (or request for fee waiver) and a self-addressed stamped envelope so the clerk can mail your copies back to you. Make sure to include enough postage. If you do not include a self-addressed stamped envelope you will have to go to the courthouse to pick up your copies. 

    Some courts allow online filing. You can find out if your court has online filing by visiting your court’s website. 
  • Pay a filing fee

    You’ll need to pay a fee of $435-$450 to the clerk when you file your forms. If you're also asking for temporary orders, there will be an additional fee of $60-$85. Check your court’s website to see what fee you’ll pay when you file.

    If you can’t afford the fee, you can ask the clerk for a fee waiver. You qualify for a fee waiver if: 

    • You receive public benefits 

    • Your income is less than a set amount

    • You can’t afford the fee and meet your basic needs  


What's next?

Once you’ve filed the forms, the next step is to make sure that the other person (the respondent) gets their copy of the forms. You need to follow a specific process to do this called serving papers.

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