To file an original Custody Complaint, the filing fee is $124.25 in Warren County and $114.25 in Forest County (subject to change). As no personal checks are accepted, payment should be made by either a money order or certified check, made payable to the “Prothonotary’s Office.”
The first document you must prepare is called a COMPLAINT. The function of the complaint is to tell the Court and Defendant the reason for filing the lawsuit and what outcome you want. You may download the form from the Forms section of this site. Be sure to state your case in clear, concise terms. Submit your completed forms to the Family Hearing Office so the matter can be scheduled for a conference.
The choice to have an attorney is yours. The court does not require you to do so. For more information see the General FAQs.
Legal custody: The right to make major decisions on behalf of the child, including, but not limited to, medical, religious and educational decisions.
Shared legal custody: The right of more than one individual to legal custody of the child.
Sole legal custody: The right of one individual to exclusive legal custody of the child.
Physical custody: The actual physical possession and control of a child.
Partial physical custody: The right to assume physical custody of the child for less than a majority of the time.
Primary physical custody: The right to assume physical custody of the child for the majority of time.
Shared physical custody: The right of more than one individual to assume physical custody of the child, each having significant periods of physical custodial time with the child.
Sole physical custody: The right of one individual to exclusive physical custody of the child.
Supervised physical custody: Custodial time during which an agency or an adult designated by the court or agreed upon by the parties monitors the interaction between the child and the individual with those rights.
Relocation: A change in a residence of the child which significantly impairs the ability of a nonrelocating party to exercise custodial rights.
Note: The above definitions are taken from 23 Pa.C.S. § 5322(a).