Self Help - Custody
- All pleadings are filed in the Office of Judicial Support located in the Delaware County Government Center Building, Room 126, 201 West Front Street, Media, PA. The office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The telephone number is (610) 891-4370.
- Directions to the Office of Judicial Support Government Center Building and Delaware County Courthouse
- Fees for filing for Custody, Partial Custody or Visitation are submitted to the Office of Judicial Support.
- The mailing address is Office of Judicial Support, Government Center Building, Room 126, 201 West Front Street, Media, PA 19063.
- As a self-represented litigant, you are required to follow the procedures pursuant to the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure which are located in the Law Library on the 4th Floor of the Delaware County Courthouse. You must also follow the custody rules located in the Delaware County Local Rules, Rule 1915.3.
- A party seeking Custody, Partial Custody and/or Visitation will need to file a Complaint including a proposed Order. A party will need to file an original and two (2) copies with the Office of Judicial Support. A party must prepare and file an Entry of Appearance form and Criminal Record/Abuse History Verification form with the Complaint. Once filed, the pleadings will be processed by the District Court Administrator's Office, located on the first floor of the Courthouse, for scheduling before a Master. Questions related to scheduling can be answered by calling the District Court Administrator's Office at (610) 891-4552.
- A local cover sheet - notice form shall be attached to the Complaint to assist with scheduling the matter before a Master.
- If the Complaint is mailed or personally filed, the District Court Administrator’s Office will call the filing party to pick up a copy of the pleading with a scheduled hearing date. The filing party is required to serve the opposing party. Proof of service is required at the time of the hearing before the Master.
- An Emergency Petition for Custody, Partial Custody or Visitation must be filed in person at the Office of Judicial Support. The filing party will be required to present the Emergency Petition to the District Court Administrator's Office which will forward it to a judge. An Affidavit of Good Faith Effort form must be attached to the petition. The Court requires that all Emergency Petitions must either be hand-delivered and/or service shall be contemporaneously made by the moving party in conformity with the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.
- In the event any custodial parent intends to move or change residence that will significantly impair the ability of the non-relocating party to easily exercise periods of custody, the relocating parent shall first comply with all of the applicable provisions of 23 Pa. C.S.A. 5337 Relocation. Please refer to the "Requirements Regarding Relocaton of Residence" as to what steps must be taken and seek the advice of an attorney.
A party intending to move or relocate must prepare and serve on the non-custodial parent a "Notice of Proposed Relocation" and a "Counter-Affidavit".
A party objecting to relocation must timely file a "Counter-Affidavit" with the Office of Judicial Support. The forms and instructions on the Office of Judicial Support website and the "Self Help-Custody" website are intended to provide assistance and not to replace the advice and representation of counsel.
- Custody - Petition for Modification of a Custody Order
- Custody Order - Contempt
- Custody Order - Modification
- Custody Order - New Complaint
- Custody - Relocation Requirements
- Custody - Notice of Relocation
- Custody - Counter Affidavit for Relocation
- Custody Handout to Assist Filing Party
- Glossary of Terms
- State Custody Forms
- It is recommended that litigants be represented by an attorney. If you are not represented and need the services of an attorney, you may contact the Delaware County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service at (610) 566-6627.