If you are a mother or father with a problem concerning child custody or visitation and you live in Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Northampton, or Northumberland County you can prepare your own custody papers by going to www.PALawHELP.org and going to the Children and Families section.
By answering easy-to-follow questions on a computer, you can create all of the documents you need to file for custody. You will also get easy-to-follow instructions on how to file your papers and prepare your case for court. (Note: These forms are not appropriate for all families. Please check the website for more details.)
This service is offered to low-income parents by North Penn Legal Services.
All initial complaints for custody and any petition for contempt or modification are filed in the Prothonotary's Office located on the lower level of the Courthouse. The Prothonotary's Office is open each weekday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You are required to present the original and the number of copies needed for service with the Prothonotary. Prior to filing, the complaint/petition must be presented in Motion's Court held between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m. each weekday in Courtroom 4.
The current fee for the initial custody filing is $155.50. (Subject to change without notice)
Further information may be found at www.pacourts.us/forms
The forms and instructions that are available from this website are not a substitute for professional legal advice. Court employees cannot give you legal advice or help you fill out /complete the forms. It is your responsibility to read and complete the forms and to take required steps to file and serve the documents. If you decide to use these forms in an actual action, be prepared to spend appropriate time gathering information, completing forms and following the Rules of Court. The Court assumes no responsibility for the use of these forms and accepts no liability for actions taken by using these documents, including reliance on the instructions and/or contents. To obtain legal advice and to insure the proper use of this material, you should contact a lawyer.
If you want to obtain the service of an attorney, but do not know whom to contact, you should visit the Northampton County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service website.