Filing Fees - Payment or Request for In Forma Pauperis

Pursuant to §16.1-69.48.5 and §16.1-296.2 there shall be a filing fee of $25 upon the initial commencement of any custody or visitation petition. Fee is applicable to a petition for Relief of Custody filed by a Guardian (not parent).

Applies to petitions filed with Intake/Court Service Unit or filed directly with the Clerk by counsel for the petitioner.
$25 filing fee collected and receipted:
  • Petition for custody and for visitation.
  • If the petitioner cannot afford to pay the fee, petitioner may file a DC-606 Affidavit in Support of Application for Proceeding in custody or visitation case without payment of filing fee pursuant to §17.1-606.
  • A DC-606 should be filed for which proceeding without the payment of the filing fee is requested.
  • No case to which this fee is applicable shall be set for hearing by the Clerk until this fee has been paid except on account of poverty as provided in §17.1-606.

Request for In Forma Pauperis 

  • Petition initiated at Intake/Court Service Unit or filed directly with Clerk by counsel for petitioner.
  • An informational brochure will be provided to the petitioner by Intake noting the amount of the fee required to be paid.
  • If the applicant/petitioner cannot pay the filing fee, the Intake Officer will assist the petitioner with completing the DC-606 Affidavit for pauper status.
  • Upon completion of the DC-606 Affidavit, the Intake Officer will administer the oath to the applicant.
  • All petitions and attached documents will be placed in a plain 9x12 manila envelope. Documents will be inserted flat and unfolded into the envelope.
  • The petitioner will have ninety (90) days from initiating the petition with Intake to file the petition(s) with applicable fee, or DC-606 with Clerk.
  • Upon the filing of a DC-606, the Court will conduct an administrative review.
  • The DC-606 Affidavit is not indexed. The original copy of the DC-606 is delivered to the Clerk’s office (by petitioner) for purposes of scheduling an administrative review.
  • Petition(s) are not filed with the Clerk until the Court has determined if petitioner is eligible, or not eligible to proceed in forma pauperis.
  • The Court will conduct administrative reviews each day in Courtroom #1.
  • Applicants will have the opportunity to appear before the Court for the administrative review any day of the workweek within the ninety (90) day window of initiating the petition(s) with Intake.
  • The applicant proceeds to file the petition(s) with the Clerk with applicable fee, or order of the Court granting DC-606.

If the Court denies the DC-606, the petitioner will have the remainder of the ninety (90) days from initiating the petition(s) with Intake to file the petition(s) with the Clerk and pay filing fee. If the petitioner does not file the petition(s) with payment of filing fee, or an order granting DC-606 within 90 days of initiating petition(s) with Intake, the petitioner will have to re-file new petition(s) with Intake. If petitioner loses or destroys petitions prepared by Intake, within the 90-day time frame for delivery to the Clerk’s office the petitioner will have to request Intake to reprint the original petition(s).
 
If the petitioner delivers petition(s) to the Clerk with the fee, and it is determined the petitioner’s address, or the child’s address, has changed since the petition was filed, prior to receipting the fee the petitioner may be referred back to Intake to determine venue or preparation of a new UCCJEA affidavit (when there is uncertainty as to the venue). The petitioner should complete a change of address petition update.
 
Note: Appealed civil cases will require the appellate to pay costs to Juvenile and Domestic Court in the amount of the writ tax and costs ($69), or request in forma pauperis status.