You can find many of the Supreme Court forms in Microsoft Word format.
Here are some tips on how to use them.
We'll use the child support affidavit form for the Supreme Court as an example, but the same points apply to all the forms in Word format.
This is what it looks like when you open it:
Do you need to delete the red or grey tips and instructions?
The tips in red will disappear when you print the form. If you want to make them reappear:
- click Ctrl-z (if you're on Mac, click command-z), or
- close and reopen the file.
In some of the forms you have to delete paragraphs. For example:
- Child Support Affidavit (Form F37)
- Affidavit — Desk Order Divorce (Form F38)
Those forms have instructions that say you can delete the red tips as well. You can do this if you want a clean version of the form on your screen but you can't make them reappear after you've deleted them.
Any grey shaded text is just for information. When you click the shaded part and start typing, the shaded text disappears. If you think you might need to look at the original form later:
- print it out before you start, or
- open a second copy of it on your computer.
What if you need more instructions or information to fill out the forms?
In some of the forms, you'll see a link to a PDF at the top of them. It has more instructions for filling out the form. You can print it out and use it as you fill out the form on-screen or by hand.
But remember, not all the forms have this extra information.
Can you print a blank form and fill it out by hand?
It's best to fill out the forms on-screen, but you can print out a blank version to:
- make a draft (a first version),
- fill out by hand, or
- fill out on a typewriter.
Some forms have to be filled out on-screen.
If they do, you'll see an instruction to do this at the top of the form.
If there's no instruction to do this, you can print the form and fill it out by hand.
When you open the Word form and print it (File > Print), the tips in red will disappear. You can make them reappear by clicking Ctrl-Z (command-z on a Mac).
What if there's not enough space on the form?
If you need more space, reopen the Word file. Put the cursor in any of the grey boxes where you need more space and press Enter (Return) to make an extra line (or as many as you need), then print the form again.
To add rows to a table, put your cursor in the last cell (the bottom right-hand square of the table) and press Tab until you have enough rows.
You can also write "See attached" on the form and attach another page with the extra text.
How do you fill out the form on-screen?
Use the Tab key to go from field to field (unless the instructions say not to). This way:
- the dates will be in the right format (dd/Mmm/yyyy, for example, 01/Jan/2001), and
- if you add information in one place (your name, for example), it will automatically appear wherever else it's needed in the form.
Some of the forms have links to useful websites (for example, government websites where you can read the laws that apply to your case). To use these links, put your cursor over the link (it will look different from the text beside it) and:
- on a PC, press Ctrl and click the link.
- on a Mac, click the link and wait a few seconds for it to load.
And think about making a special folder in your computer for all the files about your case so you can find them easily.
Can you use OpenOffice or another program to fill out the forms?
Because of how they've been set up with non-printing tips and instructions, these Word forms can only be used in Microsoft Word. You can't fill them out using other software (for example, OpenOffice, LibreOffice, Apple Pages, or iWork).