If you not married to the other
parent of a minor child and are seeking support, custody or
visitation, please read this important message.
Before a Court can issue
any Orders regarding the care, custody, support or
visitation of a minor child, the Court must have proof
that the father is, IN FACT, the father of the minor
Having a father’s name
on a birth certificate for a birth occurring before
April 13, 1994, DOES NOT establish paternity.
If the father signed an
Affidavit of Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage in
the hospital when your child was born on or after April
13, 1994, he will be listed as the father on the birth
certificate, and no Paternity Action is required.
If the father and mother signed a Voluntary
Acknowledgement of Parentage any time after the birth of
your child on or after April 13, 1994, no Paternity
action is required. Also, if you have a Court Order declaring this
person to be the father of a child (i.e.
"John Doe is adjudicated to be the father
you will not have to file a Paternity Action.
If such an Affidavit of
Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage or Court Order
exists, and you wish to settle issues of child support,
custody and/or visitation, you will need to go to the
SUPPORT, CUSTODY VISITATION page since paternity has
been established. (Click here for quick
If no Court Order exists
or if there was no such Voluntary Acknowledgement of
Parentage on or after April 13, 1994 and you wish to address
the issues of paternity, child support, custody and/or
visitation, you will need to file a Paternity Action.
For the appropriate papers to file this specific
action, you have come to the right place.
After reading the Important
Information above, and you need to file a
Paternity Action this is the place to start.
All forms that are linked
below can be filled out by the applicant
on-line. However, the applicant still needs
to print out the form, sign it and then submit it to Plymouth County
Probate and Family Court either by mail or in person.
helpful guide for parents living apart has been prepared by
The Massachusetts Association of Family and Conciliation
Courts with the support of the Honorable Sean M.
Dunphy, Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court. (Click
Here you will find:
What to file:
||Filing fee $120.00
Payable to “Plymouth Probate Court”.
Bank check or money order is required. No
personal checks are accepted.)
||Complaint to Establish Paternity
(Click for form)
You MUST file ONE form for each child
Disclosing Care or Custody
of a child, you MUST file
Disclosing Care and
Disclosing Care and
Custody - Page 2 (Click
||Birth certificate of each
must go to the city or town hall where the child
was born to get this.
||Public Assistance Affidavit
one form for each child
||Statement of Information
Required for Amendment of Birth Record.
This form is required if the father is
not listed on the birth certificate. (Click
A Financial Statement must be completed.
If your annual income is less than $75,000,
a short form Financial Statement is required.
here for form-Print on pink paper) If your annual
income is more than $75,000, a Long form
Financial Statement is required. (Click
here for form-Print on pink paper)
All papers above should be filed:
||Plymouth County Probate and Family
||ATTN: Paternity Department
||215 Main Street, Suite 220
||Brockton MA 02301-7277
||Plymouth County Probate and Family
|Plymouth County Probate and Family
||215 Main Street
||52 Obery Street
||Brockton, MA 02301
||Plymouth, MA 02360
to expect after you file:
After you file your
Complaint to Establish Paternity and related
documents, with the Court, they must be
processed. Processing your Complaint and other
papers means that your case needs to be indexed,
assigned a docket number, file stamped,
and docketed into the official court
Court creates a separate file for each child, a
fact which requires the filing by you of
separate documents for each child.
The Court then issues
a Summons to you. Once you receive this summons,
you MUST take it or mail it to the Sheriff's
Department of the County in which the Defendant
Constable who is authorized to serve civil
process in a designated city or town may also be
Sheriff or Constable will "make service". This means that the Sheriff
or Constable will bring a copy of the
Complaint and other papers to the Defendant.
The Sheriff's Department or Constable will then send
you the Original Summons with the back part of
the summons filled out, stating that either
service was made or that the Sheriff or
Constable was unable
to make service. This is called a "return
This original Summons will need to be
filed with the Court.
This will prove to the Court that service
has been made.
Once you file the
original summons, including the “return of
service,” with the court, you will be able to
file for a court hearing:
a motion, in order to receive a temporary order on matters
of support, custody, visitation, or other matters which the
court might deem just, (Click
here for Motion)
Court will automatically assign the case for a
Case Management Conference, at which time a
Pre-Trial Conference will be scheduled, if
Although the Court automatically assigns a
Case Management Conference, either party may
file and schedule a motion for a Judge's
regular motion session before the scheduled
Case Management Conference takes place.
In such event, the Judge may cancel the
scheduled Case Management Conference and
proceed to schedule a Pre-Trial
the matter is not resolved at the Pre-Trial Conference, then
it will be assigned a trial date.
that if there is more than
one child, you MUST file any motions or
other pleadings for each child.
In any hearing or trial to
determine child support, the parties
must prepare and present to the Judge,
at the hearing or trial, a Child Support
guidelines Worksheet (Form CJ-D-304-Print
on light blue paper).
Click the following quick links for the
worksheet and other information
regarding child support:
here to Download the DOR Paternity
Guide for Unmarried Parents!
(In .pdf format - Please
wait till file loads) (50.59 KB)