Intake Services

The Probation Department will provide Intake services to individuals who seek to file a Family Offense petition through Madison County Family Court. A Custody petition will be taken as needed to accompany the Family Offense petition. All matters concerning Paternity, Custody and Visitation not related to a family offense, will be referred to the Madison County Family Court Clerk's office. In matters of Support, the potential petitioner will be referred to the Madison County Support Collection Unit located in the Madison County Department of Social Services building.

Permitted Individuals

The following individuals are permitted to initiate a family offense proceeding:

  1. Persons currently or formerly married to one another.
  2. Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether such persons have been married or have lived together at any time.
  3. Persons related by blood or by marriage.
  4. Two persons, whether currently or in the past, who have been intimately involved, regardless of whether they have ever co-habited or have children in common.

Only individuals who are 18 year of age or older are permitted to file Family Offense petitions. Minors seeking an Order of Protection will need to have an adult file on their behalf.

In all other situations, an Order of Protection (Restraining Order) must be sought through the local criminal court.


A probation officer is available to assist individuals who wish to file a Family Offense petition from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Petitions can be heard by a Family Court Judge on an emergency basis. This process can be time-consuming, so anyone wishing to obtain such an Order should allow sufficient time for the process to be completed.