Allen County Circuit & Allen County Superior Court
Domestic & Paternity Cases and Self Help Center
Family Matters: Choosing to Represent Yourself In Court (Videos)
Indiana courts and court clerks handle more than 1.5 million cases per year, ranging from capital murder cases and multi-million dollar corporate lawsuits, to divorces, minor traffic infractions and rental disputes. The cost and importance of these cases vary greatly from case to case depending on the circumstances and the people involved. More often than not, people utilize the services of an attorney to help them in these matters. However, the Indiana Supreme Court recognizes the fact that in some instances people involved in litigation choose not to utilize the services of an attorney. This video has been developed to assist those people who choose to represent themselves in court.
Your Rights and Responsibilities
Forms DO NOT explain the law and may not provide all of the information necessary for a court to reach a decision. Users have permission to use the files, forms and information presented here for any lawful purpose. The files and forms should not be used to engage in the unauthorized practice of law.
The court assumes no responsibility and accepts no liability for actions taken by users of these documents, including reliance on their contents. All files and forms are under continual revision.
It is very important for you to know that when you sign a court document, you provide information to the court that may help or hurt your case. Before you sign any court document or get involved with a court case, it is strongly suggested that you talk with a lawyer to make sure you know your rights and all your legal options. If you chose to represent yourself, you should be prepared.
What Does It Mean To Have An Agreement?
For purposes of this Website having an agreement means that you and the other party agree on ALL issues in your case. For example, in a divorce case where there are children and property, having an agreement means you and your spouse agree on who will have custody, when the other parent will have parenting time, who will pay child support and how much he/she will pay, who will keep property, and who will be responsible for paying which debts.
Take the original and four (4) copies of your petition to the Clerk of the Court, along with the appropriate filing fee. There is only a one-time filing fee for each case; which is required to be paid at the initial opening of your case)
- The Clerk of the Court will stamp the petition with a filing date and give you back your copy.
- You will then be directed by the Clerk of the Court what the next step is if you are requesting a court date.
- It is your responsibility to ensure that the other party receives a copy of your filings. The court CANNOT proceed without Proper Service. To learn more, please see our section on Obtaining Proper Service.
Cannot Find What You Are Looking For?
If the type of case you wish to file or legal issue you need help with is not listed here, then this Website does not have forms or any self-service guides prepared for your case type. In such circumstances, you should seek advice from a lawyer. For more information on legal service providers, please see our section on Legal Service Providers for a referral to a lawyer who practices in family law.