If you wish to file for separate maintenance or support for you and your children, but do not wish to get a divorce then you have come to the right place.
All forms that are linked below can be filled out by the applicant on-line. However, the applicant still needs to print out the form, sign it and then submit it to Plymouth County Probate and Family Court either by mail or in person.
Here you will find:
What to file:
- Filing Fee of $120.00 (Payable to “Plymouth Probate Court”. Bank check or money order is required. No personal checks are accepted.)
- Complaint for Separate Support (Click for form)
- Affidavit Disclosing Care or Custody of a child, if there are any minor children of the marriage, you MUST file this form.
- Certified Copy of your Marriage Certificate. You will need to get this from the city or town in which you were married.
- A Financial Statement must be completed. If your annual income is less than $75,000, a pink short form Financial Statement is required. (Click here for form Print on pink paper) If your annual income is more than $75,000, a pink Long form Financial Statement is required. (Click here for form Print on pink paper)
Where to file:
All papers above should be filed:
By mail to:
Plymouth County Probate and Family Court
ATTN: Domestic Relations Department
52 Obery Street, Suite 1130
Plymouth, MA 02360
In person at:
|Plymouth County Probate and Family Court
52 Obery Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
|or||Plymouth County Probate and Family Court
215 Main Street
Brockton, MA 02301
What to Expect after you file:
A helpful guide for parents living apart has been prepared by The Massachusetts Association of Family and Conciliation Courts with the support of the Honorable Sean M. Dunphy, Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court. (Click here)
After you file your Separate Support Complaint with the Court, and it has been processed (Processing your Complaint and other papers means that your case needs to be indexed, assigned a docket number, money needs to be documented and forwarded into the State’s Account, file stamped and docketed into the official court docket.)
The Court then issues a Summons to you. Once you receive this summons, you MUST take it or mail it, with a copy of the Complaint, to the Sheriff’s Department of the County in which the Defendant lives. A Constable who is authorized to serve civil process in a designated city or town may also be utilized. The Sheriff or Constable will “make service”. This means that the Sheriff or Constable will bring a copy of the Complaint, Summons and any other papers to the Defendant. The Sheriff’s Department or Constable will then send you the Original Summons with the back part of the summons filled out, stating that either service was made or that the Sheriff or Constable was unable to make service. This is called a “return of service”. This original Summons will need to be filed with the Court. This will prove to the Court that service has been made.
Once you file the original summons, including the “return of service” with the court, you will be able to file for a court hearing:
- By a motion, in order to receive a temporary order on matters of support, custody, visitation, or other matters which the court might deem just, (Click here for Motion)
- The Court will automatically assign the case for a Case Management Conference, at which time a Pre-Trial Conference will be scheduled, if necessary. NOTE: Although the Court automatically assigns a Case Management Conference, either party may file and schedule a motion for a Judge’s regular motion session before the scheduled Case Management Conference takes place. In such event, the Judge may cancel the scheduled Case Management Conference and proceed to schedule a Pre-Trial Conference.
- Certain matters may be directly scheduled by the Court for a Pre-trial Conference.
- If the matter is not resolved at the Pre-Trial Conference, then it will be assigned for a trial date.
In any hearing or trial to determine child support, the parties must prepare and present to the Judge, at the hearing or trial, a Child Support guidelines Worksheet (Form CJ-D-304 – Print on light blue paper). Click the following quick links for the worksheet and other information regarding child support.
Child Support Chart Information regarding income
Child Support Guideline worksheet (this form will calculate your support)