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State Family Courts

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GENERAL FAMILY COURT INFORMATION


 


Alabama
Circuit courts have jurisdiction over domestic relations cases. There are 40 courts with 131 judges in the state.


 


Alaska
The superior court is the trial court of general jurisdiction which handles domestic relations matters. There are 34 superior court judgeships located in one of the four judicial districts.


 


Arizona
The Arizona Superior Court, the state's general jurisdiction court, has jurisdiction over dissolution or annulment of marriages. It has locations in each county with at least one superior court judge.


 


 


Arkansas
Arkansas circuit courts are general jurisdiction trial courts that consist of five subject matter divisions: criminal, civil, probate, domestic relations, and juvenile.


 


California
The California Superior Court hears all family law matters.


 


Colorado
In Colorado, the District Court is a court of general jurisdiction, handling domestic relations cases, among others.


 


Connecticut
Judicial District Courthouses of the Connecticut Superior Court hear family matters.


 


Delaware
The Delaware Family Court is a unified statewide Court with branches in New Castle County at Wilmington, Kent County at Dover, and Sussex County at Georgetown.


 


District of Columbia
The Family Court is a division of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. It is a trial court with general jurisdiction over domestic matters.


 


Florida
The Florida Family Court is a unified statewide Court.


 


Georgia
The superior court is Georgia's general jurisdiction trial court, with jurisdiction over divorce cases among others. Superior courts are organized into 10 Judicial Districts, comprised of 49 judicial circuits.


 


Hawaii
Hawai'i state courts operate within a totally integrated system with court rules, procedures and forms consistent throughout all jurisdictions. The Family Court in each circuit hears legal matters involving children and families.


 


Idaho
Idaho district courts can hear domestic relations cases, but in most counties they are heard in Magistrate Courts.


 


Illinois
The Unified Trial Court in Illinois is the Circuit Court, the court of "original jurisdiction". There are twenty-two circuits in the state, three of which are single county circuits (Cook, Will, and Du Page). The remaining nineteen circuits contain two to twelve counties per circuit.


 


Indiana
In Indiana, there are no separate family courts, so the superior courts have divisions within them that handle family law cases. The majority of Indiana trial courts are superior courts and almost all Indiana counties have superior courts.


 


Iowa
The district court has general jurisdiction of domestic relations cases. Iowa is divided into eight judicial districts.


 


Kansas
District courts are the trial courts of Kansas, with general original jurisdiction over domestic relations cases. Kansas is divided into judicial districts, but there is a district court in each county.


 


Kentucky
Family Court is a division of the Circuit Court, Kentucky's highest trial court level.


 


Louisiana
Family matters are typically handled in district court. However, East Baton Rouge Parish does have a family court that is separate from their district court.


 


Maine
Maine District Court has a Family Division with jurisdiction over family cases. The District Court has 33 judges who hold court in 13 districts at 31 locations throughout Maine.


 


Maryland
Maryland's circuit courts have developed special case management procedures for family law cases. There are family divisions in each of its five largest jurisdictions, and family services programs in the remaining 19 counties.


 


Massachusetts
Massachusetts Family and Probate courts have jurisdiction over family law cases. There are 14 courts, one in each county.


 


Michigan
The Family Division of Circuit Court handles domestic relations cases, and the Friend of the Court office within the family division handles cases where minor children are involved. There are 57 circuit courts in Michigan.


 


Minnesota
In Minnesota, all types of civil cases, including family matters, are heard in the trial or district court. Trial courts are organized into 10 judicial districts with 275 judges.


 


Mississippi
The Mississippi Chancery Court has jurisdiction over divorce, support/custody, and paternity matters, among others. The state is divided into twenty Chancery Court districts.


 


Missouri
The family division of Missouri circuit courts handle family matters. There are forty-five judicial circuits, with a court in every county.


 


Montana
Montana District Court has exclusive jurisdiction over domestic relations matters. It has 37 judges in 58 counties.


 


Nebraska
Nebraska has 93 County Courts in 12 districts, which have concurrent jurisdiction (along with the District Courts in rare instances) over family law cases.


 


Nevada
The District Court has jurisdiction over family matters. The 17 county courts in Nevada are divided into 9 Judicial Districts presided over by 60 judges.


 


New Hampshire
The New Hampshire Superior Court has jurisdiction over domestic relations cases. Each county has at least one court location. In addition, Family Division Pilot Project courts are available in a limited number of counties.


 


New Jersey
Family related cases are heard in the Family Division of Superior Court.


 


New Mexico
The District Court has jurisdiction over domestic relations matters. Seventy-five judges preside over thirteen different districts.


 


New York
The Family Court is established in each county and the City of NY to hear matters involving children and families. In New York City, each of the five boroughs has its own Family Court.


 


North Carolina
Trial courts, or District Courts, have jurisdiction over family law cases. In addition, North Carolina currently has Family Court programs in eight districts covering 16 counties.


 


North Dakota
The district courts are the courts of general jurisdiction in North Dakota and have general jurisdiction for civil cases, including family. The state is divided into seven judicial districts and has a district court in each of the state's fifty-three counties.


 


Ohio
In Ohio, the Domestic Relations Division of the Common Pleas Court has jurisdiction over family law cases.


 


Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Court System has 77 District Courts which have jurisdiction over civil and juvenile cases. Administrative services for the Court System are provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts.


 


Oregon
The circuit court is Oregon's trial court of general jurisdiction and hears domestic cases, among others. Each of Oregon's 36 counties has a circuit court.


 


Pennslyvania
In Pennsylvania, the Family Division is one of three major divisions of the Court of Common Pleas and has 20 judges. The Courts of Common Pleas are Pennsylvania's courts of general trial jurisdiction.


 


Rhode Island
The Family Court, with one Chief Judge and 11 Associate Justices, one General Magistrate and five Magistrates has jurisdiction to hear all petitions for divorce.


 


South Carolina
The uniform statewide Family Court system has exclusive jurisdiction over all matters involving domestic or family relationships. Each of the sixteen judicial circuits has at least two family court judges.


 


South Dakota
The circuit courts are the general trial courts of the South Dakota Unified Judicial System and have original jurisdiction in all domestic relations cases. There are thirty-eight circuit judges serving in the seven circuits.


 


Tennessee
The Circuit Court, with 85 judges, is the court of general jurisdiction. It hears domestic relations cases, but shares equal standing with the Criminal and Chancery trial courts. In fact, the Fourth Circuit Court and Eighth Circuit Court preside exclusively over divorce actions.


 


Texas
In Texas, district courts have original jurisdiction in divorce cases, among others. In the more densely populated counties, however, the courts may specialize in family law matters, for example.


 


Utah
The District Court is the state trial court of general jurisdiction and handles domestic relations cases. There are 70 full-time district judges serving in the state's eight judicial districts.


 


Vermont
Each of Vermont's 14 counties has a Family Court. The court is responsible for all family related legal matters.


 


Virginia
The Circuit Court has jurisdiction over divorces; in addition there is a Juvenile and Domestic Relations district court in each city and county that hears all matters involving juveniles. The court system is composed of 31 judicial circuits with 122 circuit courts--there is a circuit court in each city and county in Virginia.


 


Washington
The superior courts in Washington State have exclusive jurisdiction for domestic relations cases. There are 29 superior court judicial districts in the 39 counties.


 


West Virginia
In November 2000, the voters passed a constitutional amendment to allow the Legislature to create separate family courts. There are now 35 family court judges who serve 26 family court circuits.


 


Wisconsin
Circuit courts have original jurisdiction in civil cases such as divorce, property division and child custody.


 


Wyoming
The district Courts are the trial courts of general, unlimited jurisdiction in the state. The district judges preside over domestic relations matters.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified family law attorney to make sure
your rights are protected.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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