Self Help Information and Guides

Whether you need to file a case within our Court, or whether you just need information about what this court does, this is a great place to start!

The Plymouth County Probate and Family Court addresses the needs of Plymouth County residents in matters of child support, divorce, probate of estates, guardianships, custody, visitation, abuse protection, changing your name and adoptions, to name a few.  For any of these actions, you must file papers with this court in order to address your concerns.  Some matters have a filing fee, others do not.

Scroll Down and click on the links below to learn more!

What you might need to file and Why  If you are in need of the services of this court, and not quite sure how to begin, you've come to the right place.  Here you will find a list of types of cases and what they are.  Click on "What you might need to file and Why" to learn the procedures for such a case, what the filing fees are, what forms are needed to file, and what you can expect after you file.

Legal Assistance  As noted elsewhere on this website, most matters which come before the court involve complex legal issues.  The staff of our Court is prohibited from giving legal advice with respect to those issues.  You are advised to consult an attorney for advice as to legal issues and consequences.  Click on Legal Assistance for information.

What is Probate Court and how does it work  If you want to understand a little more about the Plymouth County Probate Court, what it does and how it operates, you can click on the link "What is Probate Court" to find out more information.

The Departments of the Plymouth County Probate Court  If you want to understand a little more about the operations of our court, different departments and what they do, you can click on the link "Departments of the Court" to find out more information.

Common Legal Terms  For an explanation of some legal terms, click on Common Legal Terms. 

Ten Suggestions before you go to Court  For helpful hints before going to court, click on Ten Suggestions before you go to Court.

Special in depth information about the Probation Department  For an explanation of the Probation Department, who they are, what they do, and when you might need to go to that office at the Probate Court.  This information has been provided by Charles LoGiudice, former Chief Probation Officer, Plymouth County Probate and Family Court.

More Helpful Information  Here you can download Brochures and Pamphlets that will help you with further information.  Here you will also find an Application for DOR services and a pamphlet that was contributed by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue regarding Paternity.


A special thanks to John A. Barrett, former Register of Probate in Franklin County and Richard Iannella, Register of Probate in Suffolk County for their contributions to the development of the materials in the self-help portion of this website. 

- Robert E. McCarthy, Register of Probate (April 1, 2002)