What if I cannot afford court filing fees for my family court case?

Minnesota courts charge filing and other fees in a variety of cases including those involving divorce, child custody, parenting time, and child support.  Not everyone can afford to pay all of these fees.  State law requires court fees and costs can be waived in certain circumstances.

In family court, a person must provide the court with a signed Affidavit, or statement, laying out specific income information.  The documents that need to be completed and submitted to the court can be found at this Minnesota courts link https://www.mncourts.gov/GetForms.aspx?c=19&p=69.

People who are receiving public assistance, Minnesota Care or medical assistance, or Social Security automatically get these court expenses waived.  Those who have specific financial circumstances, for example, a job layoff or a lower-income job, may still get court costs and fees waived.  It does not hurt to fill out the forms to see if the court will forego collecting several hundred dollars a person cannot spare.

A judge has the discretion to authorize or deny a fee waiver request.  If a judge denies a fee waiver, then the court fees and costs must be paid.

The fee waiver, if granted by a judge, not only applies to the court filing fee, but it applies to getting a copy of a court transcript, witness fees, copy costs, process service fees, and costs to appeal a case.

Do you have questions about your family court case?  Contact experienced family law attorney Jessica L. Sterle at (218) 722-2655 to schedule a consultation.

Jessica Sterle