Obtaining or modifying child custody agreements requires multiple forms and the ability to navigate complex rules and procedures. In most cases, parents consult an attorney. However, if you decide to proceed "pro per" (without an attorney), there are free resources available to you. Free child custody forms are available in court or child custody assistance websites, local family courthouses, law libraries and legal aid offices.
Download forms through court websites. Most courts have "self help" sections on their website with family law forms available to those who are representing themselves. The types of forms offered on court websites vary, and could include electronic forms, blank forms for printing or examples of motions.
Download forms through child custody assistance websites. There are several child custody assistance groups operating solely for the purpose of assisting parents with custody issues. Many of these groups offer free forms and instructions on their websites.
Go to a law library for example forms, blank form packets, instructions and assistance. Law librarians are available to assist you in finding laws or court rules, understanding procedures, researching cases and copying forms. To find the nearest law library, contact a nearby court.
Consult a legal aid office. These offices are inexpensive or free resources of legal information, lawyer referrals and legal self-help classes. Contact a nearby court for recommendations.
- Do not assume all free forms are current or accurate. Speak with a court clerk, law librarian or legal aid employee about your forms.
- Contact an attorney if your case involves more than one state or allegations of abuse, or if you have any doubts about your ability to follow laws, rules or procedures. Child custody cases can be very complex; if you are uncomfortable with representing yourself pro per, contact a legal aid office for an attorney referral.