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Legal Information: Pennsylvania


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Laws current as of December 15, 2023

How much does it cost to file for custody?

The filing fee for custody is different in each county. Contact the clerk (“prothonotary”) for your county court, a domestic violence organization, or a legal services provider in your area for more information.

If you cannot afford the filing fee for custody, you can request that the judge waive the filing fee for you by filing a “petition to proceed in forma pauperis (IFP)” when you file for custody.1 You will have to complete an affidavit of income and expenses and attach this to the form as well. Your county’s prothonotary may have IFP forms, or you may be able to get a form from a legal services provider in your area. The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania website also has county-specific forms available to download.

If you hire a private attorney, your attorney will also charge you fees. Each attorney charges different fees for his/her services. Be sure to discuss fees in detail before agreeing to hire any attorney. Go to How do I pick the right attorney? What questions do I ask? to see some other questions that may help you pick the right lawyer for you. 

1 231 Pa. Code Rule 240