Respond to Petition for custody and support

To respond to a Petition for Custody and Support, your first step is to fill out a Response form. This tells the court how you want custody and support handled.

If you don’t file a response within 30 days of getting the Petition form, your child's other parent can ask for a default. If there's a default, the court won't let you file a response and a judge can decide the case without you. 

If it's been more than 30 days since you received the Petition, check with the court to see if your child's other parent got a default. If there isn’t a default, you can still file a Response. If there is a default, talk to a lawyer or a Self-Help Center to learn more about your options.

Before you start

Get familiar with a few key concepts 

The way you fill out these forms will impact the outcome of your case, so it’s important to do it correctly. The forms include some terms that may be unfamiliar to you. You can read more about these terms: 

This website has information to walk you through the basic process. But, you may need more help or legal advice. 

Consider getting help 

How to respond to a Petition for child custody and support

  • Fill out the forms you received

    • Fill out the form called Response to Petition for Custody and Support for Minor Children (form FL-270). Note that because you are the one responding to the other parent, you’re called the Respondent. The other parent is the Petitioner.
    • Fill out the Declaration under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (form FL-105). This form tells the court where your children were born and live and if there are any other court cases involving them. You must fill out this form if your children are under 18.
  • Figure out if you need temporary orders

    You may need to ask for temporary orders, rather than waiting until your case is final. For example: 

    • You may need to decide where your children will live

    • You may need financial support for your child

    There's a process to ask the court to decide by requesting temporary orders. You’ll need to fill out more forms. 

    Learn how to ask for temporary orders

  • Find out if you have any local forms to complete

    Some courts have additional local forms they require you to use.   

    Contact your court clerk’s office, check your court’s website, or talk to your Family Law Facilitator or Self-Help Center to ask if they have any local forms you need to use.

  • Make copies of your forms

    After you’ve filled out the forms and signed the Response, make 2 copies of the Response and any other forms. 

Respond to Petition for custody and support

What's next?

Once you’ve completed the forms and made copies, you need to have someone deliver (serve) your Response and file your papers with the court within 30 days of getting the Petition form.


Serve means to have someone 18 or older, not you, deliver a copy to the other person in your case (the Petitioner). You must also file a proof of service with the court to prove that you had a copy delivered to them.

success alert banner:

Have a question about Petition for Custody and Support?

Look for a "Chat Now" button in the right bottom corner of your screen. If you don’t see it, disable any pop-up/ad blockers on your browser.