Custody and Guardianship of Children

Legal Information

Other Children Problems

Frustrated Woman.

This section of PALawHelp.org has information and resources about Custody and Guardianship of Children issues in Pennsylvania.

Click on a resource category listed below to see information related to that category.

Child Custody

Information from Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network on rights relating to custody and visitation of children.

Child Custody Video Workshop - North Penn Legal Services

This video workshop from North Penn Legal Services provided basic information about child custody and visitation and describes how custody disputes are handled throgh the courts or through negotiation or mediation.

Custody

Child Custody Chapter of Family Law Handbook, developed by North Penn Legal Services. (2021)

Custody and Visitation in PA (Audio-MP3)

Episode of Northwestern Legal Services' "Access to Justice" Radio show broadcast on JET 1400 AM in Erie, PA on 5/22/2008. Robert Oakley, NWLS Director interviews Judge Stephanie Domitrovitch, Erie County, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, and Karen Klapsinos, NWLS Staff Attorney regarding custody in Pennsylvania. Information is provided on what a Custody Order is, what it means, how to obtain one, and issues to consider when pursuing custody or visitation. (24:06)

Custody Law in Pennsylvania

General information on custody law in Pennsylvania

Custody - Myths & Facts

Information from MidPenn Legal Services on the true facts regarding child custody law.

General Information On Custody and Visitation

Definitions and general information on custody and visitation from Northwestern Legal Services.

Overview of Custody - Guidelines of Conduct

Information from Northwestern Legal Services on the guidelines of conduct surrounding child custody.

Planning for Custody and Care of Children: an Informational Guide for Immigrant Families

This guide is designed to provide important basic information about child custody to immigrant families.

Child Custody

Consumer Information Pamphlet from the Pennsylvania Bar Association on Child Custody offering information on the law relating to child custody and the procedure in child custody proceedings. Rev. 1/13 [PDF]

Child Custody

This link will direct you to information on child custody proceedings. It was prepared by Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid, who merged into a single program with Laurel Legal Services on July 1, 2023, and are now Summit Legal Aid

Custody

Information from the Erie County Bar Association on the law concerning child custody from the Erie County Bar Association.

Custody

Fact sheet from the Youth Justice Project on child custody. [PDF]

Custody and Visitation Guide for Self-Represented Survivors of Domestic Violence

If you’re a domestic violence survivor with children and don’t have a lawyer, this guide from Philadelphia Legal Assistance can help you decide whether a divorce or custody case can help you. If so, it can help you follow the court rules and meet legal requirements, so you have the best chance at an outcome that is safe for you and your children. The guide contains general legal information applicable throughout Pennsylvania and specific information on procedures in Philadelphia.

Family Law Handbook

This handbook provides useful information about common Family Law issues. If you need Family Law help, this handbook has good suggestions about some of the most common areas of Family Law. This handbook also gives answers to commonly asked questions. (2021)

Planning for Custody: An Informational Guide for Immigrant Families

This resource from Philadelphia Legal Assistance includes important information about child custody, parent and child separation, the Department of Human Services, Options for Detained or Deported Parents, and International Travel and Relocation. It also includes important forms including: revocation of medical consent authorization for minors, medical consent for minors, and temporary guardian/custody of minors.

Tips and Techniques for Effective Co-Parenting (Video)

This video from the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law section is designed to to help parents and attorneys develop better outcomes for parents and their children as parents work through the process of learning how to share parenting responsibilities and decisions after separating.

Inside Custody Court: Factors Relevant to Custody Decisions (Video)

This video produced by Penn Law School with the assistance of Philadelphia Legal Assistance, provides an introduction to the factors relevant to custody decisions in Pennsylvania.

Understanding "The Best Interests of a Child"

Review of the sixteen factors listed in Pennsylvania law that the Court must consider when deciding the “best interests of the child” in a custody case, and how these factors might apply in your case.

Custody Update 2014 (Video)

This video from North Penn Legal Services, presented by Ellen Kramer of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, provides updated information for issues related to custody relocation and the factors a court needs to consider in any custody case.

Custody Proceedings - Representing Yourself: Forms and Information from the Pennsylvania Courts

Free online information is available from the Pennsylvania Courts website to assist the growing number of Pennsylvanians who want to file their own family law cases in courts across the state. Standardized court forms for child custody proceedings may be obtained on this page of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania’s website. Included are forms for both parents and third parties, including grandparents.

Local Forms and Self-Help Information

For local forms and information for your county, click the title to see the SELF-HELP FORMS AND INFORMATION sub-topic. Counties are listed alphabetically after some generally applicable forms or you can set your location on the page to see only forms applicable for that location.

PA Courts Public Access Policy - Filing Requirements in the Courts (Video)

Effective on January 6, 2018, a new Public Access Policy is in effect in Pennsylvania Courts. This policy imposes requirements on anyone filing court documents in the trial and appellate courts to safeguard information in the documents they file. The Pennsylvania Courts have released this series of videos that explain the judiciary’s new policy for protecting confidential information and the required steps you must take to protect that information when filing documents in the courts.

Criminal Record and Abuse History in Custody Actions with Instructions

Beginning in September 2013 any person filing a complaint for custody, or any petition for modification for custody must also file a verification regarding any criminal or abuse history of the petitioner and anyone living in the petitioner’s household. This form, completed and filed following the included instructions, may be used to satisfy this requirement. [PDF]

Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

Costs to record, or “file” documents such as the complaint, vary from the type of document, or pleading, to the county in which you begin your case. Some court filing costs may be in the hundreds of dollars. If you cannot afford to pay these fees to the court, you will need to complete this form, In Forma Pauperis, a Latin term, referring to someone who cannot pay.

Collaborative Law

Consumer legal information brochure from the Pennsylvania Bar Association on Collaborative Law, a dispute resolution process that is an alternative to litigation. Rev. 1/13 [PDF]

Filling out an Affidavit of Service (Video)

This video from Summit Legal Aid, formerly Laurel Legal Services, explains how to complete and file an Affidavit of Service in a custody proceeding after servicing legal papers on the opposing party in your case. The video covers situations where a person is personally served by giving them a copy of the papers and when the service is done by mail. Summit Legal Aid was formed when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid and Laurel Legal Services merged into a single legal aid program on July 1, 2023.

How to Complete a Custody Complaint Form - For Grandparents and Third Parties (Video)

This video from Summit Legal Aid, formerly Laurel Legal Services. provides line-by-line instructions on how to complete a Custody Complaint form 2 (for grandparents and third parties) that is available from the PA Courts "Representing Yourself" website. Summit Legal Aid was formed when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid and Laurel Legal Services merged into a single legal aid program on July 1, 2023.

How to Complete a Custody Complaint Form - For Parents (Video)

This video from Summit Legal Aid, formerly Laurel Legal Services. provides line-by-line instructions on how to complete a Custody Complaint form 1 (for parents) that is available from the PA Courts "Representing Yourself" website. Summit Legal Aid was formed when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid and Laurel Legal Services merged into a single legal aid program on July 1, 2023.

How to File a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

This video from Summit Legal Aid, formerly Laurel Legal Services, provides an explanation of what In Forma Pauperis is (a request to file legal papers without having to pay the filing fee because you cannot afford to pay the fees) and line-by-line instructions on completing a petition to request permission to proceed without paying filing fees. Summit Legal Aid was formed when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid and Laurel Legal Services merged into a single legal aid program on July 1, 2023.

Preparing for a Custody Hearing - Pennsylvania (Video)

This video explains what happens at a child custody hearing, describes the "best interest of the child" standard, and gives you tips on how to obtain the custody order you want. The video is part of Philadelphia Legal Assistance's "Make Your Case" video series.

Child Custody Video Workshop - North Penn Legal Services

This video workshop from North Penn Legal Services provided basic information about child custody and visitation and describes how custody disputes are handled throgh the courts or through negotiation or mediation.

Grandparent Rights

Information from the Erie County Bar Association on grandparent rights concerning custody and visitation from the Erie County Bar Association. (February 2019)

How to Complete a Custody Complaint Form - For Grandparents and Third Parties (Video)

This video from Summit Legal Aid, formerly Laurel Legal Services. provides line-by-line instructions on how to complete a Custody Complaint form 2 (for grandparents and third parties) that is available from the PA Courts "Representing Yourself" website. Summit Legal Aid was formed when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid and Laurel Legal Services merged into a single legal aid program on July 1, 2023.

Overview of Grandparents' Rights in Family Court (Video)

Jennifer Pierce, Managing Attorney for Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania, provides a brief overview of grandparent’s rights in family court.

Pennsylvania KinConnector

PA KinConnector provides guidance, advice, and support for grandparents raising grandchildren and other relative and non-relative Kinship Caregivers. Kinship care is the full-time care, nurturing and protection of children by relatives or any adult who has a “kinship” bond with the children. These caregivers may include grandparents, aunts or uncles, siblings of the children requiring care, cousins or non-blood “relatives,” such as a teacher, coach or family friend.

Understanding Kinship Foster Care (Video)

This video has been produced by the Pennsylvania Courts to help potential kinship providers learn about and understand kinship foster care, navigate the dependency court system and take the necessary steps to become a kinship parent.

Understanding When Grandparents and Others Can Seek Custody

Informational brochure from the PA Bar Association describing when grandparents and other third parties may seek custody or a child. (August 2018)

Local Forms and Self-Help Information

For local forms and information for your county, click the title to see the SELF-HELP FORMS AND INFORMATION sub-topic. Counties are listed alphabetically after some generally applicable forms or you can set your location on the page to see only forms applicable for that location.

Carbon Court Self-Service - Child Custody

Information and forms relating to child custody proceedings in Carbon County.

Dauphin County: Custody in Dauphin County (Video)

This video from the Dauphin County Courts explains some basic concepts of child custody law and outlines the custody process in Dauphin County.

Erie County: How to Get a Custody Order in Erie County

Information from the Erie County Bar Association about the steps involved in getting a custody order in Erie County

Montgomery County: How To File a Custody Complaint in Montgomery County, PA (Video)

A short, step-by-step instructional video on "How to File a Custody Complaint in Montgomery County, PA. This video was produced by the 38th Judicial District Court of Common Pleas in cooperation with Montgomery Bar Association.

Northumberland County Court Forms

Court forms published on Northumberland County website.

Philadelphia County: Child Custody in Philadelphia County

Information on filing for custody in Philadelphia County.

Philadelphia: Proceedings in Philadelphia Family Court during COVID-19

Information from Philadelphia Legal Assistance on how to stay informed and access the Philadelphia Family Court, including how to file pleadings and attend virtual hearings.

Washington County: Pro Se Custody Resource Guide

Forms and information on representing yourself in a custody action in Washington County.

Custody Proceedings - Representing Yourself: Forms and Information from the Pennsylvania Courts

Free online information is available from the Pennsylvania Courts website to assist the growing number of Pennsylvanians who want to file their own family law cases in courts across the state. Standardized court forms for child custody proceedings may be obtained on this page of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania’s website. Included are forms for both parents and third parties, including grandparents.

PA Courts Public Access Policy - Filing Requirements in the Courts (Video)

Effective on January 6, 2018, a new Public Access Policy is in effect in Pennsylvania Courts. This policy imposes requirements on anyone filing court documents in the trial and appellate courts to safeguard information in the documents they file. The Pennsylvania Courts have released this series of videos that explain the judiciary’s new policy for protecting confidential information and the required steps you must take to protect that information when filing documents in the courts.

Criminal Record and Abuse History in Custody Actions with Instructions

Beginning in September 2013 any person filing a complaint for custody, or any petition for modification for custody must also file a verification regarding any criminal or abuse history of the petitioner and anyone living in the petitioner’s household. This form, completed and filed following the included instructions, may be used to satisfy this requirement. [PDF]

Carbon Court Self-Service - Child Custody

Information and forms relating to child custody proceedings in Carbon County.

Carbon Self Service Center - Forms

Download forms and information from the Carbon County Court of Common Pleas

Crawford County - Custody Mediation Conference Video (Court Video)

Video from the Court of Common Pleas of Crawford County explaining the custody mediation conference procedure in Crawford County and how you can best prepare to attend and participate in the conference.

Crawford County: Self-Help Custody Video (Court Video)

Video from the Court of Common Pleas of Crawford County explaining procedures in place in Crawford County for obtaining custody or visitation arrangements with your child.

Dauphin County: Custody in Dauphin County (Video)

This video from the Dauphin County Courts explains some basic concepts of child custody law and outlines the custody process in Dauphin County.

Dauphin County Self Help Center

Information on the Dauphin County Pro Se Litigant Self Help Center where forms and instructions are available.

Delaware County: Helpful Legal Information for the Public - Delaware County Bar Association

Information and forms to assist self-represented litigants in certain types of Court actions compiled by the Pro Se Committee of the Delaware County Bar Association.

Elk and Cameron Counties Forms

Forms from the Court of Common Pleas of the 59th Judicial District serving Elk and Cameron Counties.

Fayette County - Child Custody Services

Information on Child Custody proceedings in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas

How to File a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

This video from Summit Legal Aid, formerly Laurel Legal Services, provides an explanation of what In Forma Pauperis is (a request to file legal papers without having to pay the filing fee because you cannot afford to pay the fees) and line-by-line instructions on completing a petition to request permission to proceed without paying filing fees. Summit Legal Aid was formed when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid and Laurel Legal Services merged into a single legal aid program on July 1, 2023.

Huntingdon County: Forms

Forms for use in the Huntingdon County Court of Common Pleas.

Indiana County: Forms and Documents

Forms and information regarding proceedings in the Indiana County Court of Common Pleas.

Juniata County: Forms and Applications

Forms and applications for use in Juniata County.

Lancaster County: Judge Henry S. Kenderdine Jr. Self Help Center

The Lancaster County Court Self Help Center opened in July, 2004. The main purpose of the Center is to provide one central location where self-represented litigants can obtain some of the information and forms that they may need to represent themselves in certain types of court actions.

Lycoming County Forms

On this page, you will find various Lycoming County Courts legal forms. These packets can also be found in the law library and are provided one per filing. The law library staff cannot provide legal advice but they can assist in filling out the forms. You can stop in during regular operating hours or make an appointment.

McKean County Family Law Forms

Listing of Family Law forms available from the Court.

Mifflin County: Prothonotary Forms

Custody, Divorce and Expungement forms from the Prothonotary and MidPenn Legal Services for use in Mifflin County may be viewed and downloaded.

Monroe County: Custody Department

The Custody Department manages custody operations within the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas. This department provides court forms and assistance to individuals seeking court involvement in a custody dispute.

Monroe County - Forms

Forms available for use in the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas.

Montgomery County: Custody Mediation Orientation Program

Information on the Montgomery County Custody Mediation Orientation Program. An orientation session is an initial meeting between parties, and a mediator to educate the parties concerning the mediation process so that an informed choice can be made about continued participation in that process.

Montgomery County: Forms

Forms provided by the Montgomery County Court of County Pleas.

Northumberland County Court Forms

Court forms published on Northumberland County website.

Philadelphia County: Affidavit of Service

Form from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in family law proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Complaint for Custody

Form with instructions from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County (Custody): Complaint for Custody

Form with instructions from the Family Court Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County (Custody): Petition for Reconsideration of Custody Order

Form Petition for Reconsideration of Custody Order with Instructions. A Petition for Reconsideration may be filed within 30 days of the date of a custody order if you believe that an error was made or that something very important was not considered. In filing a Petition for Reconsideration you are asking the same judge who heard the case to review his/her decision. Your petition must state the reasons why you believe the Court should make a different decision.

Philadelphia County (Custody): Petition to Modify Custody

Form with instructions from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County (Custody): Rule to Show Cause

Form from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County (Custody): Supervised Custody Rules and Regulations

Information from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia about how supervised custody taking place under the Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Domestic Relations

Information on support procedures in Philadelphia County.

Philadelphia County: Domestic Relations Information Sheet

Form from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section for use in domestic relations proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Exceptions to Recommendation of Custody Master

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Motion Cover Sheet

Form from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section for use in domestic relations proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Motion Cover Sheet

Form with instructions from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Motion for Home Investigation

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Motion for Mental Health Assessment

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Motion for Protracted Custody Hearing

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Petition for Contempt of Custody Order

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts

Philadelphia County: Petition for Emergency Relief - Custody

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Petition for Expedited Relief - Custody

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Petition for Reconsideration of Custody Order

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts

Philadelphia County: Petition to Modify Custody Order

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (IFP)

Form with instructions from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Petition to Relocate With Child

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts

Pike County: Pro Se Forms

Pro Se forms for use by unrepresented parties in the Court of Common Pleas of Pike County.

Potter County: Court Related Information and Forms

Court-related information and forms from the Judges Chamber of the Potter County Court of Common Pleas.

Snyder County: Court Forms

Forms for use in the Court of Common Pleas in 17th Judicial District - Snyder County.

Union County: UC Court Forms

Forms for use in the Court of Common Pleas in Union County.

Warren and Forest Counties: Download Forms

Forms for use in the 37th Judicial District of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - Warren and Forest Counties.

Warren - Forest Counties: Child Custody FAQs

Information and forms regarding child custody proceedings in in the Court of Common Pleas serving Warren and Forest counties.

Washington County: Custody Resources

Information and forms on representing yourself in a custody action in Washington County.

Local Forms and Self-Help Information

For local forms and information for your county, click the title to see the SELF-HELP FORMS AND INFORMATION sub-topic. Counties are listed alphabetically after some generally applicable forms or you can set your location on the page to see only forms applicable for that location.

Filing for Emergency Custody: A Walk-Through (Video)

This video from Summit Legal Aid, formerly Laurel Legal Services, provides a walk-through of completing the forms necessary to file for Emergency Custody in Armstrong, Cambria, Clarion, Indiana, Jefferson and Westmoreland Counties. Summit Legal Aid was formed when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid and Laurel Legal Services merged into a single legal aid program on July 1, 2023.

Filling out an Affidavit of Service (Video)

This video from Summit Legal Aid, formerly Laurel Legal Services, explains how to complete and file an Affidavit of Service in a custody proceeding after servicing legal papers on the opposing party in your case. The video covers situations where a person is personally served by giving them a copy of the papers and when the service is done by mail. Summit Legal Aid was formed when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid and Laurel Legal Services merged into a single legal aid program on July 1, 2023.

How to Complete a Custody Complaint Form - For Grandparents and Third Parties (Video)

This video from Summit Legal Aid, formerly Laurel Legal Services. provides line-by-line instructions on how to complete a Custody Complaint form 2 (for grandparents and third parties) that is available from the PA Courts "Representing Yourself" website. Summit Legal Aid was formed when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid and Laurel Legal Services merged into a single legal aid program on July 1, 2023.

How to Complete a Custody Complaint Form - For Parents (Video)

This video from Summit Legal Aid, formerly Laurel Legal Services. provides line-by-line instructions on how to complete a Custody Complaint form 1 (for parents) that is available from the PA Courts "Representing Yourself" website. Summit Legal Aid was formed when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid and Laurel Legal Services merged into a single legal aid program on July 1, 2023.

How to File a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

This video from Summit Legal Aid, formerly Laurel Legal Services, provides an explanation of what In Forma Pauperis is (a request to file legal papers without having to pay the filing fee because you cannot afford to pay the fees) and line-by-line instructions on completing a petition to request permission to proceed without paying filing fees. Summit Legal Aid was formed when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid and Laurel Legal Services merged into a single legal aid program on July 1, 2023.

Child Custody

Consumer Information Pamphlet from the Pennsylvania Bar Association on Child Custody offering information on the law relating to child custody and the procedure in child custody proceedings. Rev. 1/13 [PDF]

Collaborative Law

Consumer legal information brochure from the Pennsylvania Bar Association on Collaborative Law, a dispute resolution process that is an alternative to litigation. Rev. 1/13 [PDF]

Custody

Information from the Erie County Bar Association on the law concerning child custody from the Erie County Bar Association.

Delaware County: Helpful Legal Information for the Public - Delaware County Bar Association

Information and forms to assist self-represented litigants in certain types of Court actions compiled by the Pro Se Committee of the Delaware County Bar Association.

Erie County: How to Get a Custody Order in Erie County

Information from the Erie County Bar Association about the steps involved in getting a custody order in Erie County

Grandparent Rights

Information from the Erie County Bar Association on grandparent rights concerning custody and visitation from the Erie County Bar Association. (February 2019)

Guardianship

Information on legal guardianship from the Erie County Bar Association (August 22, 2018)

Montgomery County: How To File a Custody Complaint in Montgomery County, PA (Video)

A short, step-by-step instructional video on "How to File a Custody Complaint in Montgomery County, PA. This video was produced by the 38th Judicial District Court of Common Pleas in cooperation with Montgomery Bar Association.

Philadelphia County: Child Custody in Philadelphia County

Information on filing for custody in Philadelphia County.

Tips and Techniques for Effective Co-Parenting (Video)

This video from the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law section is designed to to help parents and attorneys develop better outcomes for parents and their children as parents work through the process of learning how to share parenting responsibilities and decisions after separating.

Understanding When Grandparents and Others Can Seek Custody

Informational brochure from the PA Bar Association describing when grandparents and other third parties may seek custody or a child. (August 2018)

Custody Proceedings - Representing Yourself: Forms and Information from the Pennsylvania Courts

Free online information is available from the Pennsylvania Courts website to assist the growing number of Pennsylvanians who want to file their own family law cases in courts across the state. Standardized court forms for child custody proceedings may be obtained on this page of the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania’s website. Included are forms for both parents and third parties, including grandparents.

PA Courts Public Access Policy - Filing Requirements in the Courts (Video)

Effective on January 6, 2018, a new Public Access Policy is in effect in Pennsylvania Courts. This policy imposes requirements on anyone filing court documents in the trial and appellate courts to safeguard information in the documents they file. The Pennsylvania Courts have released this series of videos that explain the judiciary’s new policy for protecting confidential information and the required steps you must take to protect that information when filing documents in the courts.

Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

Costs to record, or “file” documents such as the complaint, vary from the type of document, or pleading, to the county in which you begin your case. Some court filing costs may be in the hundreds of dollars. If you cannot afford to pay these fees to the court, you will need to complete this form, In Forma Pauperis, a Latin term, referring to someone who cannot pay.

Blair County Custody Office

Information on the handling of custody cases in Blair County including Rules and Forms pertaining to custody proceedings in the county.

Crawford County - Custody Mediation Conference Video (Court Video)

Video from the Court of Common Pleas of Crawford County explaining the custody mediation conference procedure in Crawford County and how you can best prepare to attend and participate in the conference.

Dauphin County: Custody in Dauphin County (Video)

This video from the Dauphin County Courts explains some basic concepts of child custody law and outlines the custody process in Dauphin County.

Fayette County - Child Custody Services

Information on Child Custody proceedings in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas

Pennsylvania KinConnector

PA KinConnector provides guidance, advice, and support for grandparents raising grandchildren and other relative and non-relative Kinship Caregivers. Kinship care is the full-time care, nurturing and protection of children by relatives or any adult who has a “kinship” bond with the children. These caregivers may include grandparents, aunts or uncles, siblings of the children requiring care, cousins or non-blood “relatives,” such as a teacher, coach or family friend.

Understanding Kinship Foster Care (Video)

This video has been produced by the Pennsylvania Courts to help potential kinship providers learn about and understand kinship foster care, navigate the dependency court system and take the necessary steps to become a kinship parent.

Local Forms and Self-Help Information

For local forms and information for your county, click the title to see the SELF-HELP FORMS AND INFORMATION sub-topic. Counties are listed alphabetically after some generally applicable forms or you can set your location on the page to see only forms applicable for that location.

Allegheny County Court Family Division - Frequently Asked Questions

The Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas offers answers to many Frequently Asked Questions in the area of Custody; Dependency & Related Services; Divorce; Juvenile Delinquency and Probation; Paternity; Protection From Abuse (PFA); and Support.

Blair County Custody Office

Information on the handling of custody cases in Blair County including Rules and Forms pertaining to custody proceedings in the county.

Carbon Court Self-Service - Child Custody

Information and forms relating to child custody proceedings in Carbon County.

Carbon Self Service Center - Forms

Download forms and information from the Carbon County Court of Common Pleas

Child Custody in Allegheny County

Information from the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on how custody cases move through the system and what steps you need to follow.

Clarion County: Custody Process in Clarion County

Explanation of the custody process in Clarion County including some links to resources and forms to assist people involved in the process.

Crawford County - Custody Mediation Conference Video (Court Video)

Video from the Court of Common Pleas of Crawford County explaining the custody mediation conference procedure in Crawford County and how you can best prepare to attend and participate in the conference.

Crawford County: Self-Help Custody Video (Court Video)

Video from the Court of Common Pleas of Crawford County explaining procedures in place in Crawford County for obtaining custody or visitation arrangements with your child.

Dauphin County: Custody in Dauphin County (Video)

This video from the Dauphin County Courts explains some basic concepts of child custody law and outlines the custody process in Dauphin County.

Dauphin County Self Help Center

Information on the Dauphin County Pro Se Litigant Self Help Center where forms and instructions are available.

Delaware County: Helpful Legal Information for the Public - Delaware County Bar Association

Information and forms to assist self-represented litigants in certain types of Court actions compiled by the Pro Se Committee of the Delaware County Bar Association.

Elk and Cameron Counties Forms

Forms from the Court of Common Pleas of the 59th Judicial District serving Elk and Cameron Counties.

Erie County: How to Get a Custody Order in Erie County

Information from the Erie County Bar Association about the steps involved in getting a custody order in Erie County

Fayette County - Child Custody Services

Information on Child Custody proceedings in the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas

Filing for Emergency Custody: A Walk-Through (Video)

This video from Summit Legal Aid, formerly Laurel Legal Services, provides a walk-through of completing the forms necessary to file for Emergency Custody in Armstrong, Cambria, Clarion, Indiana, Jefferson and Westmoreland Counties. Summit Legal Aid was formed when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid and Laurel Legal Services merged into a single legal aid program on July 1, 2023.

Warren and Forest Counties: Download Forms

Forms for use in the 37th Judicial District of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - Warren and Forest Counties.

Warren - Forest Counties: Child Custody FAQs

Information and forms regarding child custody proceedings in in the Court of Common Pleas serving Warren and Forest counties.

Filing for Emergency Custody: A Walk-Through (Video)

This video from Summit Legal Aid, formerly Laurel Legal Services, provides a walk-through of completing the forms necessary to file for Emergency Custody in Armstrong, Cambria, Clarion, Indiana, Jefferson and Westmoreland Counties. Summit Legal Aid was formed when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid and Laurel Legal Services merged into a single legal aid program on July 1, 2023.

Huntingdon County: Forms

Forms for use in the Huntingdon County Court of Common Pleas.

Indiana County: Forms and Documents

Forms and information regarding proceedings in the Indiana County Court of Common Pleas.

Juniata County: Forms and Applications

Forms and applications for use in Juniata County.

Lancaster County: Judge Henry S. Kenderdine Jr. Self Help Center

The Lancaster County Court Self Help Center opened in July, 2004. The main purpose of the Center is to provide one central location where self-represented litigants can obtain some of the information and forms that they may need to represent themselves in certain types of court actions.

Lycoming County Forms

On this page, you will find various Lycoming County Courts legal forms. These packets can also be found in the law library and are provided one per filing. The law library staff cannot provide legal advice but they can assist in filling out the forms. You can stop in during regular operating hours or make an appointment.

McKean County Family Law Forms

Listing of Family Law forms available from the Court.

Mifflin County: Prothonotary Forms

Custody, Divorce and Expungement forms from the Prothonotary and MidPenn Legal Services for use in Mifflin County may be viewed and downloaded.

Monroe County: Custody Department

The Custody Department manages custody operations within the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas. This department provides court forms and assistance to individuals seeking court involvement in a custody dispute.

Monroe County - Forms

Forms available for use in the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas.

Montgomery County: Custody Mediation Orientation Program

Information on the Montgomery County Custody Mediation Orientation Program. An orientation session is an initial meeting between parties, and a mediator to educate the parties concerning the mediation process so that an informed choice can be made about continued participation in that process.

Montgomery County: Forms

Forms provided by the Montgomery County Court of County Pleas.

Montgomery County: How To File a Custody Complaint in Montgomery County, PA (Video)

A short, step-by-step instructional video on "How to File a Custody Complaint in Montgomery County, PA. This video was produced by the 38th Judicial District Court of Common Pleas in cooperation with Montgomery Bar Association.

Northumberland County Court Forms

Court forms published on Northumberland County website.

Philadelphia County: Affidavit of Service

Form from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in family law proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Child Custody in Philadelphia County

Information on filing for custody in Philadelphia County.

Philadelphia County: Complaint for Custody

Form with instructions from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County (Custody): Complaint for Custody

Form with instructions from the Family Court Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County (Custody): Domestic Relations Information Sheet

Form from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in domestic relations proceedings, including Child and Spousal Support, Divorce, Child Custody, and Domestic Violence. taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County (Custody): Petition for Reconsideration of Custody Order

Form Petition for Reconsideration of Custody Order with Instructions. A Petition for Reconsideration may be filed within 30 days of the date of a custody order if you believe that an error was made or that something very important was not considered. In filing a Petition for Reconsideration you are asking the same judge who heard the case to review his/her decision. Your petition must state the reasons why you believe the Court should make a different decision.

Philadelphia County (Custody): Petition to Modify Custody

Form with instructions from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County (Custody): Rule to Show Cause

Form from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County (Custody): Supervised Custody Rules and Regulations

Information from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia about how supervised custody taking place under the Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Domestic Relations

Information on support procedures in Philadelphia County.

Philadelphia County: Domestic Relations Information Sheet

Form from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section for use in domestic relations proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Exceptions to Recommendation of Custody Master

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Motion Cover Sheet

Form from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section for use in domestic relations proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Motion Cover Sheet

Form with instructions from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Motion for Home Investigation

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Motion for Mental Health Assessment

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Motion for Protracted Custody Hearing

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Petition for Contempt of Custody Order

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts

Philadelphia County: Petition for Emergency Relief - Custody

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Petition for Expedited Relief - Custody

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Petition for Reconsideration of Custody Order

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts

Philadelphia County: Petition to Modify Custody Order

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis (IFP)

Form with instructions from the Family Division of the Court of Common Please of Philadelphia that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Philadelphia courts.

Philadelphia County: Petition to Relocate With Child

Form with instructions from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Family Law Section that may be used in custody proceedings taking place in Phildelphia courts

Philadelphia: Proceedings in Philadelphia Family Court during COVID-19

Information from Philadelphia Legal Assistance on how to stay informed and access the Philadelphia Family Court, including how to file pleadings and attend virtual hearings.

Pike County: Pro Se Forms

Pro Se forms for use by unrepresented parties in the Court of Common Pleas of Pike County.

Potter County: Court Related Information and Forms

Court-related information and forms from the Judges Chamber of the Potter County Court of Common Pleas.

Filing for Emergency Custody: A Walk-Through (Video)

This video from Summit Legal Aid, formerly Laurel Legal Services, provides a walk-through of completing the forms necessary to file for Emergency Custody in Armstrong, Cambria, Clarion, Indiana, Jefferson and Westmoreland Counties. Summit Legal Aid was formed when Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid and Laurel Legal Services merged into a single legal aid program on July 1, 2023.

Schuylkill County: Prothonotary Forms

Forms for use in the Schuylkill County Court of Common Pleas.

Snyder County: Court Forms

Forms for use in the Court of Common Pleas in 17th Judicial District - Snyder County.

Union County: UC Court Forms

Forms for use in the Court of Common Pleas in Union County.

Warren and Forest Counties: Download Forms

Forms for use in the 37th Judicial District of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - Warren and Forest Counties.

Warren - Forest Counties: Child Custody FAQs

Information and forms regarding child custody proceedings in in the Court of Common Pleas serving Warren and Forest counties.

Washington County: Custody Resources

Information and forms on representing yourself in a custody action in Washington County.

Washington County: Pro Se Custody Resource Guide

Forms and information on representing yourself in a custody action in Washington County.

Philadelphia: Proceedings in Philadelphia Family Court during COVID-19

Information from Philadelphia Legal Assistance on how to stay informed and access the Philadelphia Family Court, including how to file pleadings and attend virtual hearings.

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