|“Attorney or Party without Attorney” - if you do not have an attorney, fill in your name, address, and telephone number.
If you would like the court to communicate with you by fax or email, you may give them that contact information, but you do not have to.
|“SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF” – write the name of the County where you are filing your case. Click here for location of courts.|
|“Petitioner” – The person that filled out the first form to start the case. Write that person’s name here.
"Respondent” – The other parent is called the Respondent. Write that person’s name here.
|This is the TITLE of the form. Leave as is.|
|“For Court Use Only” – Leave blank.|
|“Case Number” – Write in the case number.|
|NOTICE: This is not the form used to get a divorce, or to legally name the father of a child. This form is only for use under very specific circumstances. You must meet one of the four categories described in number 2, a - d, on the form (see below).|
Filling out the rest of your form
Petition for Custody and Support of Minor Children
“Jurisdiction for bringing action” – these questions make sure the right people are in the right court to make decisions about these children, who are under the age of 18.
- “Petitioner is the [ ] mother [ ] father of the minor children.” – If you are completing this form, check the box before “mother” if you are the mother of the children or the box before “father” if you are the father of the children.
- “Respondent if the [ ] mother [ ] father of the minor children.” – Check the box that describes the other parent – check the box before “mother” if the other parent is the mother of the children or the box before “father” if the other parent is the father of the children.
Read this section carefully before using this form. One of the categories given in items “a” through “d” must describe your situation. If none of these situations apply, do not use this form! Check the one box that best describes your situation.
- Check box “a” if you and the other parent are married, and neither one of you have filed a petition anywhere for divorce, legal separation, or nullity of marriage.
- Check box “b” if you and the other parent signed a form called a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity for each child under the age of 18 and there is no case regarding the children that has been filed in any other court. You must attach a copy of the Paternity form to this petition. If you do not have a copy, contact the Family Law Facilitator’s Office for assistance in obtaining one.
- Check box “c” if you and the other parent are not married and have legally adopted the children.
- Check box “d” if you have been to court regarding the children and the judge found that you and the Respondent are the children’s parents. This would most likely have happened in either juvenile court or in a child support case filed by a governmental child support agency. If so, write the court case number, the county and state in which the case was filed, and the country (if not the United States).
“The following minor children are the subject of this action:” – On a separate line for each child, write the name, date of birth (month/day/year), age, and sex (“M” for male or “F” for female) of each child under the age of eighteen (18) years old who were either born to, or adopted by, you and the Respondent.
Note: If you need more room to list all of the children, check the box that says “Continued on Attachment 3.” Then, on a separate piece of paper, write at the top: “Attachment 3 to Form FL-260 in the case of (your name and Respondent’s name). Under this, continue writing the name, date of birth (month/day/year), age, and sex (“M” for male or “F” for female) of each child under the age of eighteen (18) years old who were either born to, or adopted by, you and Respondent.
“A completed Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (Form FL-105) is attached.” – If you are using this form, you must also fill out and attach a copy of the form called the Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (Form FL-105).
“Child custody and visitation. I request the following orders:” – This section tells the court what kind of custody and visitation you are requesting for each child under the age of 18 years old who was either born to, or adopted by, you and the Respondent.
- Legal custody – “Legal custody” means who can make decisions about the children’s health, education, and welfare. “Joint legal custody” means that both parents must work together to make these parenting decisions. “Sole legal custody” means that one parent can make all parenting decisions by him- or herself, without the other parent’s agreement. If you want joint legal custody with the other parent, check the “Joint” box. If you want sole legal custody, check the box for “Petitioner” (remember, if you are filling out this form, you are called the “Petitioner”). If you want the other parent to have sole legal custody, check the box for the “Respondent.”
- Physical custody – “Physical custody” means where the children live most of the time. “Joint physical custody” means the children spend a lot of time with both parents. (It doesn’t have to be equal time.) “Sole physical custody” means that the children live with that parent, but may have visitation with the other parent. If you want joint physical custody with the other parent, check the “Joint” box. If you want sole physical custody, check the box for “Petitioner” (remember, if you are filling out this form, you are called the “Petitioner”). If you want the other parent to have sole physical custody, check the box for the “Respondent.”
- Visitation – When the child primarily resides with one parent, the court can order a visitation schedule for the other parent. If you want the other parent to have visitation, check the box for the “Respondent.” If you are requesting visitation for yourself, check the box for the “Petitioner.” If you think there is good reason for why the other parent should have no visitation, then check the box “Other.” You may also check the “Other” box if you think there is good reason for the court to order that any visits between the children and the other parent occur only in the presence of another responsible adult. (This is called “supervised visitation.”)
(1) The proposed schedule for visitation is as follows:
[ ] See the attached form FL-311, Child Custody and Visitation Attachment.
Check this box and fill out and attach the form called Child Custody and Visitation Application Attachment (Form FL-311). This form lets you tell the judge exactly what type of visitation plan you are requesting. This includes when and where the children will be picked up and dropped off, who will be responsible for the transportation, and where the children will spend holidays, vacations, and birthdays.
At the top of page 2, FL-260
Fill out the caption boxes as follows: Write the full names of the petitioner and respondent (you and the other parent.) Case Number: Write in the case number. (the same number as on page 1)
- Supervised visitation – If you checked the box “Other” above because you think that there is good reason for the court to order supervised visitation between the children and the other parent, check this box. Also list the names of other persons who should be supervised by a responsible adult if they are visiting with your children. Write down any restrictions that you want to have on that person’s visitation. For example, you may request the name of a specific adult or adults that may supervise the visitation. If you wish, you may request that visitation be supervised only by a professional supervisor. See the Child Custody and Visitation Application Attachment (Form FL-311), for more details.
- Child abduction prevention – Check this box and attach the form called Request for Child Abduction Prevention Orders (Form FL-312), if you are afraid that the other parent might try to take the children out of the county, state, or country without your permission. The form asks you why you think that the other parent may try to take the children. It allows you to make requests based upon that, such as supervised visitation, orders not to travel or move without your permission, to turn in or not apply for passports, or to post a bond and provide you with any travel itinerary.
- Holiday schedule – Check this box and attach the form called Children’s Holiday Schedule Attachment (Form FL-341(C)), or a separate page that outlines when and with which parent you want the children to spend holidays, vacations, and birthdays.
- Additional orders – Check this box and attach the form called Additional Provisions–Physical Custody Attachment (Form FL-341(D)), or a separate page, that lists the other custody orders that you want the court to make that are not already covered on this form. This form allows you to make specific requests regarding what occurs during the time the child spends with each parent, such as restrictions on negative comments about the parent, cigarette smoking, the use of alcohol or other substances, phone contact between the parents and children, and child care.
- Joint legal custody – If you checked the box for “Joint” legal custody under 5(a), above, asking the court to order that you and the other parent must agree on parenting decisions regarding the children, then check this box. Attach the form called Joint Legal Custody Attachment (Form FL-341(E)), or a separate page, that lists the joint legal custody orders that you want the court to make. This form allows you to ask the court to order under what circumstances the parents must agree when making decisions regarding the children, such as enrollment in school, religious activities, health care, and travel.
“Fees and cost of litigation” – If you think you will be using an attorney to represent you and you want the other parent to pay for the attorney and for your costs related to this case, check the “Respondent” box in 6(a). If you think that you and the other parent should each be responsible for your own fees and costs, check box 6(b).
“Child support” – The court may make child support orders for any child listed on the Petition. The amount of child support that the court will order depends in part upon the income of both parents. You must fill out and file either the form called Income and Expense Declaration (Form FL-150) or the form called Financial Statement (Simplified) (Form FL-155), so that the court has information about your income. If you do not give the court this information, the child support amount will be based upon the income information supplied by the other parent. Anyone may fill out the Income and Expense Declaration (Form FL-150). However you may only fill out the Financial Statement (Simplified) if you meet certain conditions. Read the “Instructions” section on the back of the form to see if you qualify. If not, you must fill out the Income and Expense Declaration (Form FL-150).
“Other (specify)” – If you are requesting that the court make any other orders, list them here.
“I have read the restraining order on the back of the Summons (Uniform Parentage—Petition for Custody and Support (Form FL-210) that is being filed with this petition, and I understand that it applies to me when this petition is filed.” –
This is a reminder to read the information on the back of the Summons (Uniform Parentage–Petition for Custody and Support) (Form FL-210), which must be filed along with this petition. It contains Restraining Orders against removing the children listed in the Petition from the state. These Restraining Orders go into effect against you as soon as you file the Petition, and against the other parent as soon as s/he is served with the papers.
Read the Summons carefully before proceeding. By filling out and signing this Petition, you are telling the court that you understand what the Restraining Orders on the Summons mean. If you are unsure, seek the advice of an attorney.
Write the date that you finish working on this form. Print your name on the line on the left side of the page, and sign your name on the line on the right side of the page. Remember that when you sign this form, you are promising under “penalty of perjury” that what you write on this form and on the attached pages is true and correct.