How To Request The Entry of Judgment By Agreement, Or the Approval of Any Final Agreement, In a Divorce, Legal Separation or Custody/Visitation Action Without a Court Hearing

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Judicial Branch has established a procedure for parties with full written agreements in family court matters to request approval of their agreements without having to come to the courthouse for a hearing. The procedure is available to request the entry of final judgment in any action for custody, visitation between parents, dissolution of marriage, or legal separation, or a final order on any motion in such a case, as long as the parties are in complete agreement and file all necessary documents. However, you may not use this procedure in your case if there is a restraining order or protective order between the parties, or if an application for such an order is pending.”

You may find explanations of the procedures and necessary documents in your case by following the applicable link below. In all cases, both parties must file affidavits swearing to the truth of the matters that they would have testified about in court. Forms for the affidavits are available as noted in the instructions for each case type. If the parties’ affidavits state different versions of the facts, the court may not be able to approve your agreement without scheduling a future hearing when it becomes possible in light of the public health emergency, which you would be required to attend. The affidavits must be sworn to before a notary public, attorney, or other officer empowered to take oaths. You should not come to the courthouse to file papers in person or to seek an officer to take your oath, as entry to the courthouses during this public health emergency is restricted.

Completed and signed documents should be e-filed, if you are enrolled in E-Services. If you are not, then enrolling in E-services and electronically filing your papers will help to expedite the process. To enroll in E-Services go here. If you do not enroll in E-Services, then you should mail the documents to the open courthouse that is currently handling cases from your district. This may be different from the courthouse where your case was originally filed, as some courthouses are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. The list of courthouses that are currently open may be found at this link: Courthouses remaining open

In many cases, there will be other documents that also require your signature under oath, such as financial affidavits. It is suggested that you complete all necessary documents before you make arrangements for notarization so that you may have everything signed and sworn to in one meeting.

Click here if you want to request final judgment in your divorce or legal separation case.
Click here if you want to request final judgment in your custody/visitation case.
Click here if you want to request final orders on individual motions in any case.

 

What To Do If You Want To Make Your Divorce or Legal Separation Final

Forms Required in All Divorce or Legal Separation Cases

In order to request the court to enter a final judgment of dissolution of marriage or legal separation without your appearance at a hearing in court, you must file the following documents. If there is an asterisk (*) after the name of the form, you must use the official court form. If there is no asterisk, you may use a document that is prepared by or for you, as long as it contains the information that you would have needed to complete the form.

Name of Form  Link to form and Form #
Current Appearance for each party (only needed if not already on file)*  JD-CL-012
Financial Affidavit-Plaintiff  JD-FM-006-LONG
JD-FM-006-SHORT
Financial Affidavit-Defendant  JD-FM-006-LONG
JD-FM-006-SHORT
Motion to Waive 90 Day Period (only needed if return date was less than 90 days ago)*  JD-FM-247
Dissolution Agreement  JD-FM-172
Affidavit In Support of Entry of Divorce Judgment-Plaintiff  JD-FM-281
Affidavit in Support of Divorce Judgment-Defendant  JD-FM-281
Request for Approval of Final Agreement Without Court Appearance*  JD-FM-282

Additional Forms Required If You Have Minor Children

If the parties have any minor children you must file all of the forms listed above plus the following additional forms. However, if you are not able to prepare the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet listed below, you may file everything that is required except that form. If your documents are otherwise complete, you will be contacted by a Family Relations Counselor to review your paperwork and assist you in completing the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.

Name of Form  Link to form and Form #
Affidavit Concerning Children (only needed if not previously filed)*  JD-FM-164
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet*  CCSG-1
Advisement of Rights re Income Withholding*  JD-FM-71

What To Do If You Want Your Custody/Visitation Agreement to be Made A Final Judgment

In order to request the court to approve your agreement as a final judgment in your custody/visitation action without your appearance at a hearing in court, you must file the following documents. If there is an asterisk (*) after the name of the form, you must use the official court form. If there is no asterisk, you may use a document that is prepared by or for you, as long as it contains the information that you would have needed to complete the form. However, if you are not able to prepare the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet listed below, you may file everything that is required except that form. If your documents are otherwise complete, you will be contacted by a Family Relations Counselor to review your paperwork and assist you in completing the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. When your case was first filed, a copy of a document that establishes that the parties are the legal parents of each subject child should also have been filed. Examples of such documents include birth certificates, acknowledgments of paternity, and court orders that establish the parent-child relationship. If the required document has not yet been filed in your case, then it must be filed before your final agreement is approved, in addition to the other documents listed below.

Name of Form  Link to form and Form #
Current Appearance for each party (only needed if not already on file)*  JD-CL-012
Affidavit Concerning Children (only needed if not previously filed)*  JD-FM-164
Custody Agreement and Parenting Plan  JD-FM-284
Affidavit In Support of Custody Judgment Entry-Applicant  JD-FM-279
Affidavit in Support of Custody Judgment Entry-Respondent  JD-FM-279
Request for Approval of Final Agreement Without Court Appearance*  JD-FM-282
Unless you already have a child support order in place in a Family Support Magistrate Court case and you are NOT asking to change it, you must also file the following: 
Financial Affidavit-Applicant  JD-FM-006-LONG
JD-FM-006-SHORT
Financial Affidavit-Respondent  JD-FM-006-LONG
JD-FM-006-SHORT
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet*  CCSG-1
Advisement of Rights re Income Withholding*  JD-FM-71

What To Do If You Want The Court to Approve Your Final Agreement on Motions

In order to request the court to approve your final agreement on a motion or group of motions and enter the agreement as an order of the court, without your appearance at a hearing in court, you must file certain documents. If you have an older case in which there is a paper file (as opposed to electronically filed documents), the court’s lack of immediate access to paper files during the COVID-19 crisis may delay action on your request until it becomes possible to access the file. If your agreement in a paper file concerns the modification or enforcement of a prior court order, please attach a copy of the prior order to the agreement; this may expedite action on your request if the court file is not accessible.

You must file the documents listed in Table 1 below in all cases. If your agreement concerns any financial matters, such as property, alimony, or child support, then you must also file the documents listed in Table 2 below. If there is an asterisk (*) after the name of the form, you must use the official court form. If there is no asterisk, you may use a document that is prepared by or for you, as long as it contains the information that you would have needed to complete the form.

Table 1 - Forms Required in All Cases

Name of Form  Link to form and Form #
Current Appearance for each party (only needed if not already on file)*  JD-CL-012
Agreement  JD-FM-231
Affidavit In Support of Approval of Agreement-Plaintiff/Applicant  JD-FM-280
Affidavit in Support of Approval of Agreement-Defendant/Respondent  JD-FM-280
Request for Approval of Final Agreement Without Court Appearance*  JD-FM-282

Table 2 - Additional Forms Required If Your Agreement Concerns Financial Issues

Name of Form  Link to form and Form #
Financial Affidavit-Plaintiff/Applicant  JD-FM-006-LONG
JD-FM-006-SHORT
Financial Affidavit-Defendant/Respondent  JD-FM-006-LONG
JD-FM-006-SHORT
If the financial issues include child support you must also file the following: 
Child Support Guidelines Worksheet*  CCSG-1
Advisement of Rights re Income Withholding*  JD-FM-71

NOTE: If your agreement concerns child support and you are not able to prepare the Child Support Guideline Worksheet as listed in Table 2, you may file everything that is required except that form. If your documents are otherwise complete, you will be contacted by a Family Relations Counselor to review your paperwork and assist you in completing the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.