File an Affidavit to declare indigence or state an inability to afford fees if you cannot afford the filing fees for the motions and services you will have to file when pursuing your back child support.  For many moms, even having a document notarized to present to the court is a financial problem.  For other moms, the problems will kick in when you get to higher priced filings such as registering your judgment in another state which can cost hundreds of dollars.  Thankfully, there is a process in place to help those moms who cannot afford the fees, you just have to seek it out because chances are that no one will tell you about it.

If you believe that you qualify because your income after taxes, is less than 125% of the Federal Poverty Line, (you are poor), consult a chart of these income limits at the clerk’s office in your local courthouse. If you cannot find this chart, ask the clerk’s office where it is or ask to be given or to read a copy. This Poverty Line is increased every year in February or March, and so the court should have an updated copy.  You can also call in advance to ask about this information.
Substitution of a Service
-Under the law, a court can order that a different (or substitute) method of performing a certain act or service (for example: serving the other parent, filing fees, transcription services, etc) be allowed, rather than a less convenient or more expensive one. For example, in some situations a court might order that serving the other parent in a newspaper might be too expensive and allow you to make an alternate service. Another example might be that you may be able to take depositions using tape recorders rather than using a more expensive stenographer. If you have a request for a substitute method, ask for it in your application. The court may, itself, order a less expensive or easier substitution. However, the judge may order you to pay a partial fee or cost rather than to waive it if you are otherwise eligible for waiver or state payment.


Many times there are special circumstances in which you can qualify for waivers of fees without being legally indigent. It is possible that you may earn $35,000 and still not be able to afford filing fees.  Maybe your child care bill is high, or maybe your rent or mortgage is high or you buy prescriptions every month – whatever.  If you earn OVER the threshold, complete the affidavit supplement and submit it along with the affidavit for your special circumstances to be considered.  It is your job to prove that despite your income, you really cannot afford filing fees to pursue your back child support.

Here are the steps:

  1.  Download the Affidavit to Declare Indigence
  2. Complete the form.  Use our Sample Forms in our Sample Letters, Forms, Language Section
  3. Make a copy for your records
  4. Bring original Affidavit and your “proof” of your indigence with you to the clerk’s office