Child Custody Services

COVID-19 Updates

The Child Custody Services Office is currently operating under a normal schedule and conducting mediations and partial custody hearings in person.  All parties and attorneys appearing for proceedings in the office must wear a mask at all times.  

  • Parties who are represented by counsel do not need to be physically present for mediation conferences if their attorney is physically present, so long as the party is available to their attorney by phone if needed during the proceedings. Parties who are not represented by counsel must be physically present. Parties who are not represented by counsel and are currently incarcerated or who reside in a state where travel would not be permitted may participate by phone only if the party contacts the Child Custody Services Office at least 48 hours prior to their scheduled conference to make arrangements for phone participation.
  • Continuances (rescheduling a mediation or hearing) require the agreement of all parties (including those not represented by counsel), or an order of court. Each party must agree to a continuance in writing prior to the scheduled conference.
  • We understand that school cancellations and other changes may require you to change what is written in your current custody order.  Most custody orders allow the parties to make changes to the schedule “as the parties may agree.” If you need to make changes to your custody schedule due to COVID-19 related issues (such as starting your summer schedule early), you do not need court permission if all parties agree to the changes.  We encourage you to make your arrangements with each other by text, messenger, email, or other written method so that both parties have a record of your agreement.

Services

The Child Custody Services Office conducts mediations and hearings regarding legal and physical custody of minor children between parents, grandparents, and third parties. 

  • Our office cannot provide legal advice regarding custody cases.  If you are in need of legal advice regarding your case, please contact an attorney.
  • The Child Custody Services Office is not a filing office.  Complaints, motions, pleadings, and other documents should be filed with the Prothonotary or the Court Administrator's Office, as appropriate.
  • Parties are only permitted to speak with the mediator or hearing officer assigned to their case during scheduled mediation conferences and hearings.  The mediators/hearing officers cannot provide legal advice to parties.
  • The Child Custody Services does not conduct custody trials, custody motions, or matters relating to child support.