Court Home Court Divisions & Operations General Court Information Criminal Court Civil Court Orphans' Court Jury Service Self Help Court Opinions Court Rules Interpretation Services Contact The Court Disclaimer Court Employment Vacancy Information
Child Custody New Complaint Instructions

If you are a mother or father seeking to file an initial custody complaint and you live in Northampton County, you can prepare your own custody papers by going to:

By answering easy-to-follow questions on a computer, you can create all of the documents you need to file for custody. (Only use child’s/children’s initials) You will also get easy-to-follow instructions on how to file your papers and prepare your case for court. (Note: These forms may not be appropriate for all families. Please check the website for more details. This service is offered to low-income parents by North Penn Legal Services.


After completing all questions, proceed to print your documents. (You will need four copies) Read all instructions and sign and date where indicated on all copies.

NEXT, you must take your completed pleading to the Mediation Room (first floor-across from the District Attorney’s Office), on any weekday for review by the Custody Office. You must sign in by 8:45 a.m. No pleadings will be accepted after 9:30 a.m. Your packet must include the following:

  1. A completed, signed and dated Complaint for Custody
  2. A completed praecipe for a custody list
  3. A completed scheduling order.
  4. A completed pretrial statements for Plaintiff.
  5. A completed criminal record and abuse history verification form.
  6. A Co-parent education program form
  7. A certificate of service to be completed after you serve the other party.
    NOTE: If you are filing an In Forma Pauperis form (waiving filing fee), this form must also be completed/signed and dated with your financial information.

Once your papers have been reviewed proceed to the Prothonotary’s Office to file your petition. There will be a filing fee-the current fee is $161.75 (subject to change without notice).

Further information may be found at regarding modifications and contempt or you can visit the law library for a packet.

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.

Tracking address: Tracking code - do not email: (do not email this address - tracking purposes only)