Family Court - Filing a Petition

Instructions for Filing a Petition in Family Court

The petition & information sheet must be completed in its entirety. Use black ink and print legibly.

If you are filing a modification or enforcement petition, you must attach a copy of the applicable order or judgment of divorce if it based on an order that is not a Madison County Family Court order. If you do not have a copy, you may obtain one from the county where the order was established. In the case of a judgment of divorce, you may contact the county clerk's office or the attorney who handled the matter. There will be a charge by the county clerk's office for copies. You must have identification when making your request in person.

Your petition must be notarized. You must have proper identification for notarization.

You may mail your completed petition with attachments and the information sheet to:

Family Court Clerk's Office
P. O. Box 607
Wampsville, NY 13163

Or, file it in person at the Family Court Clerk's office.

Filing of A Modification Petition - It is very important that you set forth the change of circumstance in detail and with specifics. In addition, you must explain what effect your current situation has on the existing order, and state what relief you are now seeking. Please note that Section 451 of the Family Court Act requires, in part, that upon an application to modify, to set aside, or vacate an order of support, no hearing shall be required unless such application shall be supported by affidavit and other evidentiary material sufficient to establish a sufficient case from the reading of the petition. Documentation must be supplied to show change since the entry of the order. For example, copy of lay-off or termination notice, disability claim, pay stubs indicating current income, a doctor's note regarding your medical status, a copy of your unemployment book, etc.

Filing a Petition for Custody/Visitation - If the parties in an original custody/visitation petition are not related by blood or marriage (not the same last name), proof of paternity must accompany the petition being filed, i.e. acknowledgment of paternity (signed in the hospital) or an order of filiation from a court proceeding.

We have a petition intake assistant who will assist you with the preparation of a support, custody or visitation petition if yo need help. This assistant is available Monday - Friday from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

If you are filing a PINS petition or a family offense petition, assistance completing the petition will be provided by the probation department.

The staff of the Family Court Clerk's Office and the probation department cannot provide legal advice as to the sufficiency of your petition. It is your responsibility to complete the petition accurately and in its entirety. If your petition is determined by the court to be insufficient, your petition could be dismissed.

If you are unable to complete the petition as required, seek the advice of an attorney.