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Divorce/Parenting

The Family Division handles cases involving divorce. It also handles parenting actions between unmarried persons. Parenting actions used to be called "custody" or "visitation" actions. 

Parents in divorce or parenting actions involving children under the age of 18 will attend a First Appearance session soon after their case is filed at a family division court. Information about the court process and the important role of parents in this process is presented at the First Appearance Session. At the end of the session, parents schedule the next event in their case - either a case manager conference, mediation, or a court hearing. Attendance by parents at the First Appearance session is required, unless specifically excused by the court. (To see what a First Appearance Session looks like, please click on First Appearance Session to watch a video). 

How do you file a divorce petition? 

How do you file a parenting petition? 

How to get a court order enforced

How to modify parental rights, child support and other court orders

 

Checklists

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Change of Address

It is very important to inform the court when your address changes. This way, you will always receive important information that may be sent from the court. A Change of Address Notification must be filed with the court and a copy provided to all other parties on the case (unless there is a court order that an address be kept confidential). Failure to keep the court informed of your address may result in your not receiving court notices and having the court hearings held without you being present. 

Change of Address Notification Form

Do You Need a Lawyer?

Anyone who goes to court without a lawyer takes a serious risk. These cases can be complicated and it is recommended that you consult a lawyer to best protect your interests, especially if there are issues regarding parental rights and responsibilities of children, property or pension/retirement benefits.

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How can court staff help?

How can court staff help?

The staff in the Clerk's office and the staff in the Trial Court Information Center (1-855-212-1234) will be happy to help you. But, please remember that the court staff must remain impartial. They do not take sides. They give the same information to both sides to a case. They can provide you with information about forms and procedures, but cannot give you legal advice or give you specific information about your situation.

Callers from outside the US or Canada must use the Circuit Court's toll number: 603-415-0162.