File for separate support
Probate and Family Court locations
The Details of File for separate support
What you need for File for separate support
You can file for separate support if you're married and your spouse has failed to support you, has deserted you, you and your spouse are living separately for “justifiable cause”, or you and your spouse have “justifiable cause” to live apart, but are still living together. “Justifiable cause” includes things like abuse, adultery, and desertion.
You will need to file:
- Complaint for Separate Support (CJD 102)
- Certified copy of civil marriage certificate (this is available from the Registry of Vital Records)
- A financial statement (based on income). Learn more about filing financial statements in the courts.
If you have children with your spouse, you’ll also need to file:
If you have an attorney, they’ll need to file:
Please note: Under M.G.L. c 209, § 32F, the court can’t order child custody or the transfer or sale of the home you own. However, if you file under this law, you should file a Complaint for Support pursuant to G. L. c. 209, § 32F (CJD-107). This form would be filed instead of the Complaint for Separate Support (CJD-102).
Fees for File for separate support
There are also fees for separate support procedures. In addition to the listed fees, you may also be responsible for fees due to your local sheriff or constable for service. This will depend on your local Probate and Family Court.
Local courts differ on the type of payments (cash, check, credit card, etc.) that they will accept. Call your court to find out which methods of payment are accepted in that location.
If you can’t pay the filing fee because you’re indigent, you can request to have the fee waived. See Indigency (waiver of court fees) for more information.
How to file File for separate support
You can file in the Probate and Family Court in the county where either you or your spouse lives. However, if you left the home you lived in as a couple, you must file in the county where your spouse lives.
Next steps for File for separate support
After you’ve filed, you need to let your spouse know that you’ve filed. To do this, you have to arrange for them to be served with a copy of the complaint that you filed (the “notice”) and a “domestic relations summons”. These are papers that tell your spouse what happened and what will happen next. The court will give you the notice and summons when you file your papers, but you need to arrange to have the papers “served.” See Service of process of domestic relations complaints in Probate and Family Court for more information.
All parents where there is no agreement on custody and/or parenting time of their minor children must attend the four-hour online co-parenting course “Two Families Now” unless a Judge waives the requirement.
If you think you should not be required to attend the parent education course you can file Motion to Waive Attendance at Two Families Now Co-Parenting Education Course and provide notice to the other side by sending them a copy.
More info for File for separate support
The judge will read through your papers and make a decision. They may ask you questions in court. The judge will look at your income, your spouse’s income, the number of people you’re supporting, and what expenses you have. They will use the Child Support Guidelines to help reach a decision. The judge can order support for you or your child, as well as medical support for you or your child. The judge can also order the transfer or sale of a house you or your spouse owns.
Downloads for File for separate support
Contact for File for separate support