Custody Procedure and Forms

If you are inquiring about a custody matter, you are strongly encouraged to seek legal advice. If you do not have an attorney, please contact Legal Aid at 877-429-5994 or the Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service at 610-429-1500. 

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Chester County Local Custody Rules and Forms*

*These forms are not inclusive of all forms needed to commence or proceed with a custody action but reflect county-specific forms. We recommend that you read the Chester County Local Rules regarding custody to ascertain when the local forms are needed.

Chester County Custody Procedures

In Chester County, the custody procedure is a multi-step process. After filing 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 Hearing Officer. This is not an evidentiary hearing, but rather a place for the parties to meet and attempt to agree on a schedule. If they cannot agree, the conciliator will recommend a temporary schedule that will take immediate effect.

The parties leave with an order that will be signed by a Judge. If either party is unhappy with the schedule, he or she has the right to file for a trial before a Judge.The parties are encouraged to review the Chester County rules and forms to comply with local policies and procedures. Additional forms and custody information are available at the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts website - follow link below to access these forms.

Litigants are are strongly encouraged to seek legal advice from a lawyer with experience in family law matters.These are only forms and do not guarantee that you are filing the proper paperwork or that all needed allegations (facts) are included.

Filing Instructions

Before filing a custody action at the Prothonotary, take your custody pleading to Family Court Administration (Suite 5402), for scheduling.

Family Court Fees

  • Family court fees
  • Mediation fee: $100
  • The recommended number of copies of all forms is four. 
      1. An original to be filed in the Prothonotary's Office (Suite 1425), 
      2. A copy for your records
      3. Two copies for service

The Prothonotary's office is open M-F, 8:30am-4:30pm.

Chester County Custody Mediation Rules and Forms