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When a complaint for custody or modification of a current Custody Order is filed each party is required to attend a Child Custody Education Class presented by the Crime Victims Center of Fayette County. Attendance is mandatory for all parties in an action and is reported to the Child Custody Services Office. Parties living outside of the area may contact a court near them to attend a similar class after they have submitted the curriculum of the out of county class to Child Custody Services.
The class offered in Fayette County is a one-time, four hour parent education seminar to help amicably formulate a custody arrangement that will meet the needs of the children involved in custody disputes. All parties in a custody action are mandated to attend this seminar; no one is singled out. The seminar is informal in nature and focuses on ways to help your child cope and accept the change in living arrangements and circumstances. The program is designed to teach effective parenting during the transitional stages of divorce and/or separation.
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The Child Custody Services Office and the Custody Mediators/Hearing Officers are unable to provide legal advice concerning child custody matters. If you require legal assistance, the following resources are available in Fayette County:
Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid is the legal aid services provider for Fayette County. They offer an information page on their website about child custody issues. Eligibility and availability of services for custody cases may vary. For more information, contact their Fayette office at (724) 439-3591.
The Fayette County Bar Association offers a Find a Lawyer Program that refers callers to participating attorneys primarily located in Fayette County. There is no charge to contact the FCBA Find a Lawyer Program and the fee for an initial consultation of up to one half hour with an attorney is $25. For more information or a referral, please contact the Find a Lawyer Program at (724) 437-7994.
The Fayette County Law Library is located on the 2nd Floor of the Fayette County Courthouse. The telephone number is 724-430-1228. The Pennsylvania Rules of Court and the Fayette County Local Rules are available for your use. The librarian may assist you in locating the rule books but is unable to provide any legal advice. If you want to file your own custody action, The Law Library will provide you with a Child Custody packet of information for a fee or you can download the printable forms and instructions.
It is recommended that you seek legal counsel to assist you with your custody case. The Child Custody Services Office is unable to provide legal advice. Therefore, any questions you may have should be directed to an attorney.
You may obtain copies of documents from your file in the Prothonotary's Office which is located on the 1st Floor of the Fayette County Courthouse. The telephone number is 724-430-1272. A fee of $0.25 per page will be charged for copies.