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Custody and Guardianship of Children

Legal Information > Custody Procedure
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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.
31 Resource(s) Found
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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]

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]

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.

Filling out an Affidavit of Service (Video)

This video from 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.

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

This video from 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.

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

This video from 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.

How to File a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

This video from 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.

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.

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.

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

This video from 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.

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.

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]

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.

How to File a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

This video from 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.

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.

Filling out an Affidavit of Service (Video)

This video from 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.

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

This video from 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.

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

This video from 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.

How to File a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

This video from 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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