The Delaware State Courts will be closed on Monday, December 24th and Tuesday, December 25th for the Christmas holiday. Justice of the Peace Courts 11 (New Castle County), 7 (Kent County) and 3 (Sussex County) will remain open.

Court Proceedings in the Family Court



Court Proceedings in the Family Court

Civil:

A civil case is initiated with the filing of a "Petition." All petition filings require the original, plus one copy of the petition unless a specific rule or rules require the filing of additional copies. An accompanying data information sheet should be included with the documents. A filing fee is due at the time of filing (fees vary depending on petition type). After filing, the Clerk of Court shall prepare a summons and shall direct that a copy of the summons and petition be personally served upon the respondent named in the petition. Once service of process (Summons & Petition) has been made upon the respondent, the court shall schedule the matter for the appropriate hearing.

Mediation:

Mediation is a required Family Court process where persons are given an opportunity to resolve their differences and make their own agreement which, when signed by a Judge or Commissioner, becomes an Order of the Court.
View A Guide to Mediation in the Family Court. Also available in Spanish.

Your Court Hearing:

Learn what is a court hearing, tips on how to prepare for a court hearing and how to state your case at the court hearing. Tell me more...

Criminal:

Proceedings may be instituted by filing of information, petition or complaint, or as otherwise provided by the Constitution of this State; by statute or by rule. The complaint is a written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged. It shall be made upon oath, and may be based upon personal knowledge or upon reasonable information and belief. A complaint filed in another court may be forwarded to the Family Court, or, if appropriate, a committing magistrate may issue a warrant for the person alleged to have violated any law, within the jurisdiction of the Family Court. Tell me more...

Arbitration:

Arbitration is an informal Family Court proceeding where a specially trained hearing officer attempts to resolve certain juvenile delinquency cases.
View A Guide to Arbitration in the Family Court.

Arraignments:

An arraignment is a formal hearing at which a defendant accused of a crime is brought before the Court to plea to the charges brought against him/her. The defendant is made aware of the charges, the legal rights and at this time, may enter a plea of guilty or not guilty before the Court. View A Guide to Arraignments in the Family Court. Also available in Spanish.

FAQs/Guides:

Change of Address
Guide to Subpoenas
Review of Commissioner's Order/Re-arguments

References:

Family Court Glossary of Legal Terms

Español:

Spanish icon

Tribunal de Familia- Preguntas frecuentes en español
Como prepararse para su audiencia judicial
Una Guia Para Entender La Mediacion En El Tribunal De Familia
Guia Sobre La Lectura De Cargos En El Juzgado De Familia