Parties can represent themselves in child custody cases. Unfortunately, due to limited resources, NPLS can only provide representation and/or advice in a limited number of child custody cases.
Do I need to hire an attorney in family law cases?
It depends. An attorney is not required, but can be very helpful. In almost every County the Court system now provide pro se legal forms that will enable individuals to file divorce, custody, support and PFA’s without the need to employ an attorney. PALawHelp.org is a website that provides information and sample pleadings. The resources available may enable you to represent yourself in Family Court.
Can a grandparent file for custody of a minor child?
A grandparent or great grandparent may file for any form of physical or legal custody if they acted “in loco parentis”. Meaning that they acted like a child’s parent for twelve consecutive months and/or the child is substantially at risk due to parental abuse, drug or alcohol abuse, or incapacity.
Can I give up my parental rights to avoid child support?
The general rule is you cannot give up your rights to avoid paying child support. In general, Pennsylvania Law may allow you to terminate your parental rights and eliminate any further obligation to pay child support only if the other parent intends to have someone else adopt your child.
Can I move out of my County with the child if the other parent disagrees?
Relocation with your minor child outside of the county or the state of Pennsylvania can only occur if the other parent agrees or the Court approves the proposed relocation. There are several factors that must be met by the parent who wishes to remove the child from their current home.