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Applying for Support

How to Apply for Support:

If you wish to start a new support case or reopen an old case, you will need to come to the Domestic Relations Office between 9:00AM and 3:30PM, Monday through Friday to file a support complaint. Or if you prefer, you may also file on-line through the E-Services portal by clicking here..

Please do not mail an application to Domestic Relations because you will still need to appear at the office for an intake interview and to file the actual complaint for support.

Prior to reporting to the Domestic Relations office or filing on-line, please gather as much of the following information as possible. This will allow your case to be processed and scheduled for a conference in a timely manner:

  1.       Social Security cards/numbers for you, the children and absent parent.
  2.       Birth Certificates for the children.
  3.      Current address of absent parent.
  4.       Employer name and address for yourself and the absent parent.
  5.       Proof of paternity establishment, if applicable.
  6.       Proof of medical insurance coverage/cards.
  7.       Marriage license, divorce decree or separation agreement if applicable.
  8.       Proof of custody, if applicable.
  9.       All sources of income for you and absent parent, including Social Security Income, veterans’ benefits, and unemployment compensation, second job, etc.
  10.   A photograph of the absent parent, if possible.

Your Intake Interview

A client services representative will assist you in filing an action for support. Normally, the interview process will take approximately 30-45 minutes. In most cases, the support conference will be scheduled as a part of the interview, and you will be given a date and time to return for the conference/hearing to establish the support order. If you file on-line, be sure to include a phone number where you can be reached should the representative have any follow-up questions. The conference/hearing is normally held within 20-30 days from the date of filing if it will be a local case.


In some cases, where the absent parent does not reside in Tioga County and this court does not have proper venue or jurisdiction, then the case may have to proceed under the Intrastate Family Support Act or the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. This will require filing the correct complaint to the proper jurisdiction, and although you will not have to attend in person, all conferences/ hearings will be held in that county or state. In other cases, even if the absent parent lives in another county or state, this court can retain jurisdiction and establish the support order here. Your representative will further explain the options available based on the specific circumstances of your case.

Locating the Absent Parent

If the custodial parent is unsure where the absent parent is living, they can still file an application for support. The Court will not be able to establish a support obligation until the parent can be found, however, the Domestic Relations office has a variety of sources and tools to assist in locating a person’s home address or employment. If an absent parent’s name, social security number and date of birth are all known, then the office will continue to search for this individual for at least three years.