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Otsego County Courts


Family Court

General Information for Filing Petitions

  • You must fill in all blanks. Type or write clearly in blue or black ink. (Incomplete petitions may be dismissed.)
  • You MUST provide a correct address for each party, including house number, street, city, state and zip code.
  • Petitioner(s) is (are) the person(s) filing the petition and the Respondent(s) is (are) the person(s) against whom the petition is filed.
  • If you are filing a Petition for Modification, you MUST show a change in circumstances from when the order you wish to modify was entered.
  • If modifying or enforcing an order of another court, such as a Divorce Decree, a copy of the divorce and separation agreement, existing Order from any Family Court, if one exists, MUST be attached to the original petition.
  • You must date the petition and sign in both places BEFORE A NOTARY PUBLIC. Petitions that are not notarized will be returned. Notaries are available at banks, law offices, libraries and the County Clerk's Office. You may also bring the completed unsigned petition to our office and sign before an employee of Family Court free of charge.
  • You must submit an original petition to the Court.
  • If you complete an Order to Show Cause, this serves as a summons and you are responsible for service on the other party. Leave the court date blank, the Court will fill this in. The rest of this form must be complete.
  • Custody petitions, violation petitions, support petitions and paternity petitions must be personally served. Please be aware that there may be a charge for this service for papers that must be served out of Otsego County and the party filing the petition is responsible for the cost.
  • Unmarried parents seeking custody must include a signed Acknowledgment of Paternity or Order of Filiation with their petition.
  • Paternity Petitions must be submitted with Certificate of Birth Registration.
  • Mail completed forms to:

    Otsego County Family Court
    197 Main Street
    Cooperstown, NY 13326

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