Filing a Petition in Family Court

Completed Petitions

Completed petition forms may be filed with the Erie County Family Court by mailing them to:

Petition Processing Unit
One Niagara Plaza
Fourth Floor
Buffalo, NY 14202

Petitions will be marked received, record checked, docketed and scheduled in the order in which they are received. You will be notified by mail of the return date time and part.


General Information

A Pre-Court Questionnaire (ID Slip) must be completed in its entirety for each Respondent.

Petitions require the complete address of both parties and any attorneys. The address must include whether it is a "Street," "Avenue," "Place," "Boulevard," etc. and the zip code. If your address is confidential, write "confidential" where your address would go and provide the address on a separate piece of paper.

Paternity petitions filed by the mother should include a copy of the birth certificate. If filed by the father or another party, a copy of the birth certificate should be provided if the party has a copy of same.

If you seek to modify or enforce a Divorce Decree, Separation Agreement, Oral Stipulation, etc., a copy of the appropriate papers must be provided.

If you seek to modify or enforce an order pertaining to an order of a Family Court other than Erie County, a copy of the order must be provided.

Support petitions must state whether parties were married, an order of filiation has been entered, or a paternity acknowledgment has been entered. If a paternity acknowledgment was signed in the hospital, a copy of it must be attached to the petition. If parties were not married, paternity must be established before the issue of support can be determined. Having the unmarried father's name on the birth certificate is not a determination of paternity.


Child Care

Children will not be permitted in Family Court Petition Clerk Offices or Courtrooms. Please make arrangements for the care of your child(ren) while you conduct your business in Family Court. The YWCA Children's Center located on the First Floor of One Niagara Plaza will provide free day care during court hours on a first-come, first-served basis.