How Do I...

How Do I...

Start A Case:

Parties who have a child(ren) and who have never been married or are separated can begin a new case by calling The Department of Human Services at 1-866-540-0008.
Procedure: The Department of Human Services (DHS) sends a referral to the Prosecutor’s Office. The Prosecutor’s office files a complaint with the Court. The Other party, (defendant) needs to be served with the complaint and appropriate paperwork. If paternity is already established, a referral goes to the Friend of Court and a referee hearing will be scheduled. At the time of the hearing, the Friend of the Court will make a recommendation to the Judge as to child support, custody, parenting time, and any other issues that may be addressed. Both parties will receive a copy of the recommendation with a notice for a hearing before the judge. If the parties agree, no one needs to appear before the Judge and he will usually sign an order that reflects the recommendation. If either party does not agree with the recommendation, then that party needs to appear and the Judge will decide if the order should be changed and/or signed. Once the Judge signs the order, the Friend of Court is able to enforce any and/or all issues.

Starting a Divorce:

  1. An attorney can file the following information for you:
    • Summons and Complaint
    • Complaint for Divorce
    • Verified Statement
    • Serve the other party with the proper paperwork
    • File a motion before the Judge to obtain an Order of Referral to the Friend of Court for calculations
    • Draft orders for you from the Referee recommendations, or per the agreement of the parties
  2. If you wish to file for divorce on your own, please take a look at the resources from our Circuit Court Clerk. The following information must be completed and submitted to the County Clerk, with copies to the other party and the Friend of Court:
    • The original Summons and Complaint
    • Complaint for Divorce
    • Verified Statement

Employers Information:

Employers seeking information regarding Income Withholding Orders please choose the Enforcement link. Employers seeking information regarding National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) please choose the Medical/Health care link.

Information for Attorneys:


All orders requiring Friend of the Court approval must be submitted to the 44th Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.  The Friend of the Court requires at least 10 business days to review proposed Orders and/or Judgments. If it has exceeded the required 10 business days you may contact the Friend of the Court’s secretary to inquire on the status.
  • Please make sure to use the latest SCAO Forms when submitting Orders to the Court.

Direct Pay Credits

Direct pay credits will be considered by the parties’ assigned caseworker. Payments directly made without approval of the Friend of the Court may not be credited to the obligor’s account and could be considered a gift. 

 Judgments of Divorce and Proposed Orders 

All proposed Judgments of Divorce and proposed orders addressing Custody, Parenting Time, Child Support, Spousal Support, and related issues must be submitted to the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. These proposed Judgments and Orders will be sent to the Friend of the Court for review and approval. If the proposed Judgment or Order is not approved, the document will be returned to you with the attached Request for Revision of Proposed Order or Judgment. Orders for support or spousal support must be on approved Uniform Support Order forms. Temporary Orders and Judgments must be submitted with a Judgment Information Form. Uniform Support Orders for direct payment must be accompanied by an Order Exempting Case from Friend of the Court Services,Advice of Rights form regarding Friend of Court Services, and an Affidavit to Exempt Case from Friend of the Court Services.