In Chester County, the custody procedure is a multi-step process. After the filing of a complaint for custody or a motion to modify the present custody situation, each party is required to attend a mandatory parenting class as well as a mandatory mediation session with a court appointed and approved mediator.
The mediation is conducted without lawyers. If the parties are unable to settle their matter at mediation, the parties attend, with counsel, a custody conciliation conducted by a Master. This is not an evidentiary hearing, it is a place for the parties to meet and have a schedule set up for them by a conciliator.
The parties leave with an order that will be signed by a Judge. If either party is unhappy with the schedule, they have the right to file for a trial before a Judge.