Filing the Summons and Petition (and UCCJEA) with the court: After you have filled out the initial forms consisting of the Summons and Petition (and UCCJEA form if you have minor children), make two copies of all of your forms. Go to the Superior Court and file the forms with the court clerk. The court clerk will keep the originals and give you back the two copies. The copies will be filed-endorsed copies (i.e., they will have the court’s stamp on them in the upper right-hand corner that says the date on which the forms were filed with the court). One set of the copies is for you and one set is for your spouse. Before you go to the court, look at the court’s website for your county and see when the court clerk’s window is open. In most counties, the clerk’s window is open from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Some counties have different hours. Many courts have a number system. When you enter the courthouse, you get a number from a clerk at a desk or sometimes from a machine. You then wait for your number to be called. Not all counties have this system. For some counties, you just get in line to file papers with the court clerk. Be prepared to wait in line, sometimes for a long time, particularly if you live in a county that has a large population. It is usually best to go to court early in the morning, preferably at 8:00 a.m. when the line usually is not as long.
Filing fees: When your file a divorce petition, the court clerk will charge you a filing fee. The court increases the amount of the fee from time-to-time. Currently the fee is $435. This payment is also known as a “first appearance fee”; or a “first paper fee” Bring your check book or a credit card when you go to file your petition. You can also pay in cash. A Fee Waiver is available for those who qualify.