File your Response to Petition for Custody and Support

Once you complete your Response, you need to file it with the court and pay a filing fee of $435-$450. If you can't afford the fee, you can ask the court for a fee waiver.

Before you start

Your child's other parent can ask for a default if you don't file your Response within 30 days of being served the Petition. If it's been more than 30 days, 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.

How to file forms with the court

  • Take your forms to the court clerk

    Take your forms to the court address you listed on the caption of your Response.

    At the courthouse, you’ll file the forms by giving the original and the 2 copies to the clerk. 

    The court will keep the original and return the copies to you. One is for you, the other for the child's other parent.

    Yes, you can file by mail. Mail the original and 2 copies to the clerk. You need to include the filing fee and a self-addressed, stamped envelope so the clerk can mail your copies back to you. If you do not include a self-addressed stamped envelope with the correct amount of postage 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 ($435-$450) to the clerk when you file your forms. 

    If you can’t afford the fee, you can ask 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  

Respond to Petition for Custody and Support

What's next?

Once you filed the form, the next step is to formally deliver it to your child's other parent by serving papers. If you’ve already served the papers, then you can learn about different ways the court can finalize the case.

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