These instructions are to help you
represent yourself in court in a custody or visitation case. Legal words and court documents can be
confusing. The more you know, the more comfortable you will be when you
fill out the necessary court forms and come to court. These instructions will give you some useful information and instructions on filling
out the necessary forms.
Every case is different and this instruction
sheet is to be used as a guide only; if you think you need more help you
may want to get an attorney. You can also go to a
Court Service Center or contact the
Connecticut Network for Legal
find additional information at the Law Libraries.
Court staff can answer procedural questions and help you understand the
legal process, but cannot give you legal advice.
To start a custody or visitation
case you have to fill out the following 5 forms:
Once you finish your paperwork, you must take it to the Superior
Court Clerk’s office. The Clerk will sign and return the forms
to you. If you are a grandparent or third party filing a
petition for visitation, the clerk will also have to take your
oath for the Verification section of the form.
After signature, the paperwork must be delivered to the other party by a
State Marshal. The Clerk’s office or the Court Service Center
can give you a
list of State
Marshals. A State Marshal will charge a fee for delivering
the paperwork which you must pay, unless the court has decided
that you do not have to pay. There is a form to ask the court to
pay the State Marshal fee if you prove that you cannot afford to
pay. It is the
Application For Waiver Of Fees/ Appointment Of Counsel
(JD-FM-75). You can also use this form if you cannot afford
to pay the fee to file the case. Do
not sign this form until you are in front of a court clerk or a
Once the paperwork has been delivered to the other party, the
original paperwork must be returned to the Clerk’s office along
with the filing fee with proof that the papers were delivered to
the other party. If the court
has decided that you do not have to pay
the filing fee, you must return the Application For
Waiver Of Fees/Appointment of Counsel with your other papers.
sure to make copies of all your paperwork before returning it to
the Clerk’s office as your court date will be listed on the
Order To Attend Hearing and Notice to The Respondent form.
you are asking to have child support ordered in your case, be
sure to fill out a
Financial Affidavit (JD-FM-6) and bring it with you to your
hearing along with proof of your income.
the day of your hearing be sure to come to court early because
it can take 10 to 20 minutes to get into the courthouse since
everyone must go through a metal detector. Be sure to bring your
filled out court forms and copies of any other forms you may
have given or sent to the court clerk. Go to your assigned
courtroom and wait for instructions. If you are not sure where
to go, check with the Clerk’s Office or Court Service Center.