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It is recommended that you retain counsel to represent you in a custody action. An attorney is a valuable resource in navigating complex family law.
If you choose to represent yourself, a Complaint for Custody is available on the Pro Se Custody page. Please note that self-represented (pro se) litigants are held to the same standards as attorneys admitted to the bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Representing yourself does not exempt you from understanding and following statewide and local Rules of Court.
If you are represented by an attorney, your attorney has the ability to request a modification on your behalf. Kindly contact your attorney and express your desire to modify your order.
If you are not represented and wish to present a Petition for Modification on a pro se basis, a petition is available on the Pro Se Custody page.
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. at the Brominski Building or Main Courthouse depending on the Judge assigned each week
If you are represented by an attorney, your attorney has the ability to request a continuance on your behalf.
If you are not represented by an attorney, you must attend Family Court Motions to request a continuance from the presiding judge. You must complete and present the appropriate Motion for Continuance available on the Family Court Motions page.
All custody orders are filed by the Prothonotary's office. Located on the second floor of the Main Courthouse, copies may be obtained for a nominal fee. Family Court is unable to provide copies to you.
Adoption records are available form 1925 to the present. No records whatsoever are available prior to 1925.
Please be aware that adoption information is confidential and is strictly limited regarding what details can be released. Please visit the Adoption page for specifics regarding requests for information.
No, the Judge or Hearing Officer is prohibited from speaking with you unless all parties involved in your matter are present. They are also prohibited from receiving letters and electronic mail regarding your case. All communication with a Judge or Hearing Officer must occur during your hearing. Should you have concerns that must be addressed, please discuss the situation with your lawyer.
Generally, children should not be brought to a private (non-CYS) custody hearing unless you are instructed by the Court to bring them.
If children are required to attend a hearing, please prepare for an extended amount of time at the courthouse. You should always bring enough supplies, such as food and diapers, for several hours.
A child being adopted should always be brought to their adoption hearing.
Staff members are strictly prohibited from providing legal advice, as well as providing guidance in drafting and executing legal documents.
If you require assistance with your matter, please consult an attorney or other individual who can help you.
You may request a transcript of your proceeding before a Judge or Master by completing a Transcript Request Form.
No, Family Court does not provide self-represented litigants with paperwork for divorce matters.