State Family Courts
State family court is where claims for divorce, child custody, child support, adoption, and other such matters are heard. If you need to file such a claim or have been served papers for a family law-related matter, you'll want to understand the rules and procedures involved. The following is a list of state-specific family court resources, including access to forms and helpful guides.
State Family Court Information
Circuit courts have jurisdiction over domestic relations cases. There are 40 courts with 131 judges in the state.
The superior court is the trial court of general jurisdiction which handles domestic relations matters. There are 34 superior court judgeships located in one of the four judicial districts.
The Arizona Superior Court, the state's general jurisdiction court, has jurisdiction over dissolution or annulment of marriages. It has locations in each county with at least one superior court judge.
- Family Court (Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County)
- Summary of the requirements of Arizona Revised Statute 25-351 (Arizona Judicial Branch)
Arkansas circuit courts are general jurisdiction trial courts that consist of five subject matter divisions: criminal, civil, probate, domestic relations, and juvenile.
- Circuit courts (Arkansas Judiciary)
The California Superior Court hears all family law matters.
- California Family Court Information (Judicial Council of California)
In Colorado, the District Court is a court of general jurisdiction, handling domestic relations cases, among others.
- Colorado's District Courts (Colorado Judicial Branch)
- Self-Help Center: Domestic Cases (Colorado Judicial Branch)
- Chapter 13 - Family Relationships (Senior Law Handbook ) (Colorado Bar Association)
Judicial District Courthouses of the Connecticut Superior Court hear family matters.
- Family Matters: Frequently Asked Questions (State of Connecticut Judicial Branch)
- Judicial District Courts
The Delaware Family Court is a unified statewide Court with branches in New Castle County at Wilmington, Kent County at Dover, and Sussex County at Georgetown.
District of Columbia
The Family Court is a division of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. It is a trial court with general jurisdiction over domestic matters.
- Family Court Operations (District of Columbia Courts)
- Family Court Self-Help Center (D.C. Bar Association)
The Florida Family Court is a unified statewide Court.
- Unified Family Court (Florida State Courts)
- Family Law Rules [PDF] (Florida Bar Association)
- Representing Yourself in Family Court (6th Judicial Circuit)
The superior court is Georgia's general jurisdiction trial court, with jurisdiction over divorce cases among others. Superior courts are organized into 10 Judicial Districts, comprised of 49 judicial circuits.
- Georgia Courts (Judicial Branch of Georgia)
- Fulton County Family Division (Fulton County Superior Court)
- DeKalb County Family Law Information Center (DeKalb County Superior Court)
Hawai'i state courts operate within a totally integrated system with court rules, procedures and forms consistent throughout all jurisdictions. The Family Court in each circuit hears legal matters involving children and families.
- Family Courts (Hawaii State Judiciary)
Idaho district courts can hear domestic relations cases, but in most counties they are heard in Magistrate Courts.
- Family Court Services (Idaho State Judiciary)
The Unified Trial Court in Illinois is the Circuit Court, the court of "original jurisdiction". There are twenty-two circuits in the state, three of which are single county circuits (Cook, Will, and Du Page). The remaining nineteen circuits contain two to twelve counties per circuit.
- Map of Illinois Judiciary
- Family Court (19th Judicial Circuit Court, Lake and McHenry Counties)
- Domestic Relations Division (Cook County)
In Indiana, there are no separate family courts, so the superior courts have divisions within them that handle family law cases. The majority of Indiana trial courts are superior courts and almost all Indiana counties have superior courts.
- Indiana Trial Courts (Indiana Judiciary)
The district court has general jurisdiction of domestic relations cases. Iowa is divided into eight judicial districts.
- Iowa's Judicial Districts (Iowa Judicial Branch)
District courts are the trial courts of Kansas, with general original jurisdiction over domestic relations cases. Kansas is divided into judicial districts, but there is a district court in each county.
Family Court is a division of the Circuit Court, Kentucky's highest trial court level.
- Family & Juvenile Services (Kentucky Court of Justice)
Family matters are typically handled in district court. However, East Baton Rouge Parish does have a family court that is separate from their district court.
Maine District Court has a Family Division with jurisdiction over family cases. The District Court has 33 judges who hold court in 13 districts at 31 locations throughout Maine.
- Family Division (Maine Judicial Branch)
- Family Law in Maine (Pine Tree Legal Assistance/Maine Judicial Branch )
Maryland's circuit courts have developed special case management procedures for family law cases. There are family divisions in each of its five largest jurisdictions, and family services programs in the remaining 19 counties.
- Department of Family Administration (Maryland Judiciary)
Massachusetts Family and Probate courts have jurisdiction over family law cases. There are 14 courts, one in each county.
- Probate and Family Courts (Massachusetts Court System)
The Family Division of Circuit Court handles domestic relations cases, and the Friend of the Court office within the family division handles cases where minor children are involved. There are 57 circuit courts in Michigan.
- Michigan Trial Courts (Michigan Courts)
In Minnesota, all types of civil cases, including family matters, are heard in the trial or district court. Trial courts are organized into 10 judicial districts with 275 judges.
- Minnesota District Courts (Minnesota Judicial Branch)
- Family Court Motions: Settlement Rule and Form (Minnesota Judicial Branch)
The Mississippi Chancery Court has jurisdiction over divorce, support/custody, and paternity matters, among others. The state is divided into twenty Chancery Court districts.
The family division of Missouri circuit courts handle family matters. There are forty-five judicial circuits, with a court in every county.
- Missouri Courts (Missouri Judicial Branch)
- Representing Yourself in a Family Law Case (Missouri Judicial Branch)
Montana District Court has exclusive jurisdiction over domestic relations matters. It has 37 judges in 58 counties.
Nebraska has 93 County Courts in 12 districts, which have concurrent jurisdiction (along with the District Courts in rare instances) over family law cases.
- County Court Contacts and Addresses (Nebraska Judicial System)
The District Court has jurisdiction over family matters. The 17 county courts in Nevada are divided into 9 Judicial Districts presided over by 60 judges.
- Nevada District Courts (Nevada Supreme Court)
- Family Mediation Program (Eighth Judicial District Court, Clark County)
The New Hampshire Superior Court has jurisdiction over domestic relations cases. Each county has at least one court location. In addition, Family Division Pilot Project courts are available in a limited number of counties.
- Circuit Court Family Division (New Hampshire Judicial Branch)
- Family Division Pilot Project (New Hampshire Judicial Branch)
Family-related cases are heard in the Family Division of Superior Court.
The District Court has jurisdiction over domestic relations matters. Seventy-five judges preside over thirteen different districts.
- Court Sites (New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts)
- Bernalillo County Family Court (Second Judicial District)
The Family Court is established in each county and the City of NY to hear matters involving children and families. In New York City, each of the five boroughs has its own Family Court.
- New York City Family Court (New York Unified Court System)
- Family Court Information (10th Judicial District, Suffolk County)
Trial courts, or District Courts, have jurisdiction over family law cases. In addition, North Carolina currently has Family Court programs in eight districts covering 16 counties.
- About District Courts (North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts)
- Family Court (North Carolina Judicial Branch)
The district courts are the courts of general jurisdiction in North Dakota and have general jurisdiction for civil cases, including family. The state is divided into seven judicial districts and has a district court in each of the state's fifty-three counties.
- North Dakota District Courts (North Dakota Supreme Court)
In Ohio, the Domestic Relations Division of the Common Pleas Court has jurisdiction over family law cases.
- Ohio Courts (Supreme Court of Ohio)
- Butler County Domestic Relations Court
- Clermont County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations
The Oklahoma Court System has 77 District Courts which have jurisdiction over civil and juvenile cases. Administrative services for the Court System are provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
- Oklahoma District Courts (Supreme Court of Oklahoma)
The circuit court is Oregon's trial court of general jurisdiction and hears domestic cases, among others. Each of Oregon's 36 counties has a circuit court.
- Family Law Program (Oregon Judicial Branch)
In Pennsylvania, the Family Division is one of three major divisions of the Court of Common Pleas and has 20 judges. The Courts of Common Pleas are Pennsylvania's courts of general trial jurisdiction.
- Family Court Division (First Judicial District of Pennsylvania)
- Domestic Relations Night Court [PDF]
- Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas (Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania)
The Family Court, with one Chief Judge and 11 Associate Justices, one General Magistrate and five Magistrates has jurisdiction to hear all petitions for divorce.
- Rhode Island Family Court (Judiciary of Rhode Island)
The uniform statewide Family Court system has exclusive jurisdiction over all matters involving domestic or family relationships. Each of the sixteen judicial circuits has at least two family court judges.
- Family Court (South Carolina Judicial District)
The circuit courts are the general trial courts of the South Dakota Unified Judicial System and have original jurisdiction in all domestic relations cases. There are thirty-eight circuit judges serving in the seven circuits.
- Family Court: 4th Circuit (South Dakota Unified Judicial System)
The Circuit Court, with 85 judges, is the court of general jurisdiction. It hears domestic relations cases, but shares equal standing with the Criminal and Chancery trial courts. In fact, the Fourth Circuit Court and Eighth Circuit Court preside exclusively over divorce actions.
- Juvenile & Family Courts (Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts)
In Texas, district courts have original jurisdiction in divorce cases, among others. In the more densely populated counties, however, the courts may specialize in family law matters, for example.
- Family District Courts in Dallas County (Dallas County)
- Tarrant County Family Courts (Tarrant County)
- Family Law Handbook [PDF] (Houston Bar Association)
The District Court is the state trial court of general jurisdiction and handles domestic relations cases. There are 70 full-time district judges serving in the state's eight judicial districts.
- District Courts (Utah State Courts)
Each of Vermont's 14 counties has a Family Court. The court is responsible for all family related legal matters.
- Vermont Family Courts (Vermont Judiciary)
The Circuit Court has jurisdiction over divorces; in addition there is a Juvenile and Domestic Relations district court in each city and county that hears all matters involving juveniles. The court system is composed of 31 judicial circuits with 122 circuit courts--there is a circuit court in each city and county in Virginia.
- Clickable Map Showing Virginia Circuits and Districts
- Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Courts (Virginia Courts)
The superior courts in Washington State have exclusive jurisdiction for domestic relations cases. There are 29 superior court judicial districts in the 39 counties.
- Web Sites for Superior Courts in Washington State (Washington Courts)
- Family Court Services (Clark County Superior Court)
In November 2000, the voters passed a constitutional amendment to allow the Legislature to create separate family courts. There are now 35 family court judges who serve 26 family court circuits.
- Family Courts (State of West Virginia)
Circuit courts have original jurisdiction in civil cases such as divorce, property division and child custody.
The district Courts are the trial courts of general, unlimited jurisdiction in the state. The district judges preside over domestic relations matters.
- District Courts of Wyoming (Wyoming Judicial Branch)
Get More Information About Your State's Family Courts by Talking to an Attorney
As you can see, there are a variety of courts and procedures when it comes to resolving family law issues in different states. Thankfully, you don't need to navigate this process by yourself. Experienced family law attorneys understand how the process works in your state and can be your strongest advocate with the court. Reach out to a local family law attorney today to discuss your situation and received personalized legal advice.
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