Claims for spousal or child support are
initiated by filing a Complaint with the DOMESTIC RELATIONS SECTION (DRS).
Their office is located at
After the complaint is filed and served, DRS will schedule an informal conference in an attempt to reach an agreement between the parties. If no agreement is reached at this conference, your case will be scheduled for a hearing before a Hearing Officer, an attorney specially trained to hear such cases. You have the right to testify at this hearing and to have others present to testify on your behalf. The Hearing Officer has the power to enter a temporary Support Order. Either party may file objections (called "Exceptions") within ten (10) days after entry of the temporary Order. If no exceptions are filed, the temporary Order will become a final Order. If either party files exceptions to the temporary Order, your case will be listed before a judge for final disposition. Even if exceptions are filed, however, the temporary Order remains in effect until a final decision by the judge.
You have the right to be represented by an attorney at any DRS proceeding. If you cannot afford an attorney, the Court will appoint one for you at no charge.
Please note that the Domestic Relations Section has no jurisdiction over child custody or visitation disputes. If you have a custody or visitation issue involving minor children, please consult the topic CHILD CUSTODY.