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Family Court

Court Offices
15 West Kellogg Boulevard Room 160
St. Paul MN 55102
Phone: 651-266-2842
Map/Directions
Court Hearings/Self-Help Center
Juvenile and Family Court Justice Center
25 W 7th St, St. Paul MN 55102
Phone: 651-266-5125
Map/Directions

Fee Schedule

Representation
& Assistance

Can I represent myself?
What can I do if I can't afford an attorney?
Can I get an attorney appointed for me?

Scheduling 

When and where is my next court date?
How do I schedule a motion hearing?
What should I do if I can't appear at a hearing that's been scheduled?
Can I request a new court date?

Hearings
What happens at the hearing?
Divorce
How do I file for divorce?
How do I file for annulment or legal separation?
Child Support &
Child Custody
How can I change my child-support?
How can I change my visitation schedule?
How can I change child custody?
What can I do if the other party isn't complying with the Court's order?
How do I establish paternity of my child?
Records,
Files, & Fees
Are files confidential?
How do I view a file?
How do I obtain a copy of a court document?
How do I obtain a transcript of a hearing?
How much does it cost to file?
Can court fees be waived if I can't afford to pay them?
Family Court fee schedule
How do I...
Questions on a broader range of topics
Return to the Main FAQ page


Representation and Assistance

Can I represent myself?

Yes, but you will be expected to follow the same rules of evidence and rules of court that attorneys are expected to follow.  If you choose to proceed without an attorney, our Self-Help Service Center can assist you. 

For more information, call our office at the number above or visit the Family Court Self-Help Service Center page on this site.

What can I do if I can't afford an attorney?

Consult the Find a Lawyer page of the State Self-Help Center web site for information on possible representation at a reduced fee.

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Can I get an attorney appointed for me?

Court-appointed attorneys are available in Family Court for low-income parties in a paternity case and only up to the point when the Court decides who the father is.  Fill out an Application for Court-Appointed Counsel at your first hearing.


Scheduling

When and where is my next court date?

Check online, in the Search Court Records section of this site, or call us at the number above.  Be prepared to provide your case number.

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How do I schedule a motion hearing?

If you are an attorney, contact a scheduling clerk in Family Court for a hearing date.  If you are representing yourself, come in to the Family Court Self-Help Service Center to schedule a hearing. 

What should I do if I can't appear at a hearing that's been scheduled? / Can I request a new court date?

Submit a written Request for Continuance for a new hearing date to Family Court in Room 160.  A form is available for cases involving child support.  The court will also accept a letter.  Send a copy of the request to all other parties in the case.  The judicial officer will issue an order granting or denying your request or a scheduling clerk will contact you.

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Hearings

What happens at the hearing?

What happens depends on the type of hearing.  Generally, both parties are allowed to make motions and confer with the opposing party.  At some hearings, there may be testimony by witnesses or submission of exhibits in evidence.  The judge will either rule on the motions at the hearing or take the matter under advisement.

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Divorce / Dissolution of Marriage

How do I file for divorce?

File a Petition for Divorce with Family Court and pay the applicable fee.  Divorce can be complicated; consider retaining an attorney to advise you.    If you intend to represent yourself, contact the Family Court Self-Help Service Center.

For online information, visit the Divorce section of the State Court Self-Help Center.

How do I file for an annulment or legal separation?

File a Petition with Family Court and pay the applicable fee.  The court does not provide assistance or forms for annulment or legal separation. Consider retaining an attorney to advise you.

For more information, visit the Annulment and Legal Separation page of the State Self-Help Center.

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Child Support and Child Custody

How can I change my child support?

File a Motion to Modify Child Support with Family Court along with the applicable fee.  A hearing will be scheduled.

For more information, contact the Ramsey County Family Court Self-Help Service Center or visit the Child Support page of the State Self-Help Center.

How can I change my visitation schedule?

File a Request for Parenting Time Assistance with Family Court along with the applicable fee. A hearing will be scheduled.

For more information, contact the Ramsey County Family Court Self-Help Service Center or visit the Child Custody and Parenting Time page of the State Self-Help Center.

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How can I change child custody?

File a Request for Change of Custody with Family Court along with the applicable fee. A hearing will be scheduled.

For more information, contact the Ramsey County Family Court Self-Help Service Center or visit the Child Custody and Parenting Time page of the State Self-Help Center.

What can I do if the other party isn't complying with the Court's order?

File a Motion for Contempt with Family Court along with the applicable fee.  A hearing will be scheduled.

For more information, contact the Family Court Self-Help Service Center.

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How do I establish paternity of my child?

Either by agreement of both parties (father and mother) or by court order if paternity is disputed.

For more information, visit the Paternity page of the State Self-Help Center.  In Ramsey County, a Paternity Form Packet is available online.


Records, Files, and Fees

Are files confidential?

Actions for dissolution of marriage, child custody, and child support are public cases.   Actions to establish paternity are confidential cases.

Regarding documents, some documents in public cases are confidential.  Any document within a confidential case is confidential. 

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How do I view a file?

Non-confidential case information is online in the Search Court Records section of this site.  File documents may be viewed by coming to the Family Court office on Kellogg Blvd (the address is shown above).  You will need a photo ID if the information is restricted to parties in the case.

How do I obtain a copy of a court document?

Copies may be purchased at the Kellogg Blvd location above.  There is a fee.

You may also mail a request to the Kellogg Blvd office along with a check made out to Ramsey District Court.  Tell us which document you would like to receive and the file number.  It will take about two to four weeks to complete your request.

Copies of confidential documents are available only to the parties and their attorneys.  When requesting a copy of a confidential document at the counter, a driver's license or state-issued ID must be produced.  If requesting a copy by mail, a photocopy of the license or ID must accompany the written request.

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How do I obtain a transcript of a hearing?

Transcripts are prepared upon request. Contact the court reporter and request it.    To contact the court reporter, call 651-266-8303The court reporter will give you an estimate of the cost and timeline.

If your hearing was in front of a Child Support Magistrate, submit a Request for Transcript form.  The transcriber will contact you regarding cost and timeline.

How much does it cost to file?

Current fees are available on the Family Court Fee Schedule.

Can court fees be waived if I can't afford to pay them?

Yes, but you are expected to provide financial information to demonstrate that you cannot pay.  This information must be verifiable.  The process is known as In Forma Pauperis or IFP, and you must submit an IFP form.  If you have questions about the form, Family Court Self-Help Service Center staff can review the document with you. 

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 Certificate of Settlement Now Required

On February 15th, 2012, the Second Judicial Family Court announced that it will now require a Certificate of Settlement be filed prior to any motion scheduled to be heard by the court.  

Pursuant to Rule 303.03(c) of the MN Family Court Rules, Settlement Efforts.
         Except in parentage cases when there has been no court determination of the existence of the parent and child relationship, and except in situations where a court has ordered that no contact occur between the parties, the moving party shall, within 7 days of filing a motion, initiate a settlement conference either in person, or by telephone, or in writing in an attempt to resolve the issues raised.  Unless ADR is not required under Rule 310, this conference shall include consideration of an appropriate ADR process under Rule 114. The moving party shall certify to the court compliance with this rule or any reasons for not complying.  The moving party shall file a Certificate of Settlement Efforts in the form developed by the state court administrator not later than 24 hours before the hearing.  Unless excused by the Court for good cause, no motion shall be heard unless the parties have complied with this rule.  Whenever any pending motion is settled, the moving party shall promptly advise the court.

Failure to file the Certificate of Settlement may result in a motion to be stricken from the court’s calendar.

The Certificate of Settlement is available on the Second Judicial website Certificate of Settlement Efforts, or at the Family Self Help Service Center.

 

Family Court Room 160

 

Family Court Clerks Office, Room 160 Courthouse

Family Court Overview

Family Court oversees court cases involving family matters such as dissolutions of marriage, parenting time schedules and disputes, child custody issues, child support establishment and modification, and paternity cases.

Family Court judges, referees, and magistrates hold court hearings on these issues, and the Family Court Clerk’s Office maintains the court files and provides access to records and documents.

Family Court also provides a Self-Help Service Center where court staff provide information, referrals, forms, and other assistance for parties proceeding in their Family Court matter without an attorney. The Service Center is located on the first floor of the Juvenile and Family Justice Center at 25 West 7th Street, St. Paul, MN.

In July, 2009, the Second Judicial District implemented Early Case Management, specific resources can be found on the ECM Home Page. 

The fair and efficient administration of justice requires that all cases in family court receive timely attention. This requires the judicial system to handle cases expeditiously and with consistency, fairness and sound decisions.  The court manages the process and disposition of the cases before it. The Early Case Management (ECM) approach that was implemented in July, 2009, uses aggressive case management timing by establishing judicial intervention on cases within three to four weeks of filing. The initial meeting with the judicial officer is called an Initial Case Management Conference (ICMC). The judicial officer's involvement soon after the filing encourages the parties and their attorneys (if represented) to focus on resolving and narrowing the contested issues that are barriers to settlement.

Location of Family Court

The Family Court Clerk's Office is located in Room 160 of the Ramsey County Courthouse, 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55102. Courtrooms for Family Court hearings before referees and magistrates are located in Room 190 of the Courthouse. Courtrooms for Family Court hearings before judges are located at the Juvenile and Family Justice Center, 25 West 7th Street, St. Paul, MN. The Family Court Clerk's office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Driving Directions to Courthouse

Driving Directions to the Juvenile and Family Justice Center

Family Court Organization

  • Records and Filing Unit

    The Family Court Records and Filing Unit is located in Room 160 of the Ramsey County Courthouse. Responsibilities of this unit include maintaining permanent Family Court records, processing documents for filing within those records, responding to requests for copies and information, and collecting appropriate fees. Please see our FAQ site or call 651-266-2842 for more information.

    Approximately 100,000 paper files are maintained by this unit. Other permanent files are kept in archival form either microfilmed records or imaged records. Dissolution records before 1981 are maintained by the Civil Division Records Unit, 651-266-8237.

  • Child Support Unit

    The Family Court Child Support Unit is located in Room 160 of the Ramsey County Courthouse. Responsibilities of this unit include processing IV-D child support matters, scheduling and holding hearings regarding those cases, and responding to requests for copies and information. Hearings within this unit are heard by child support magistrates. Please see the FAQ site and the Self-Help Service Center site or call 651-266-2831 for more information.

    In 2005, over 3200 hearings were held before Ramsey County child support magistrates.

  • Assignment Unit

    The Assignment Unit responsibilities include scheduling and holding hearings regarding Family Court cases other than IV-D child support matters, staffing the Self-Help Service Center, and responding to requests for information. Hearings within this unit are heard by Family Court judges and referees. Please see the FAQ site and the Self-Help Service Center site or call 651-266-5125 for more information.

    In 2005, over 3000 hearings were held before Ramsey County Family Court judges and referees.