Family Matters

PRIOR TO FILING WITH THE PROTHONOTARY OFFICE, PLEASE REFER TO THE PA RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE AND LANCASTER LOCAL RULES OF COURT FOR APPROPRIATE DOCUMENTS AND RULES.

**All paperwork for existing cases must include case number (CI-yy-xxxxx)**
**STATE AND LOCAL COVER SHEETS ARE REQUIRED ON ALL FILINGS, EXCEPT WHERE NOTED**
**Court Administration Office Scheduling Cover Sheet (CAOSCS) required for scheduling a hearing**
**All fees must be paid at the time of filing**
**For parties to receive copies, please include self-addressed, stamped envelopes**


Divorce
File a complaint with notice to defend and claim rights and verification. There is a fee for the divorce complaint.

There are additional fees for alimony, equitable distribution, and alimony pendent elite, support, and custody or visitation. For the forms, please go to the Self Help Center.

Appointment of a Master in Divorce
File a motion for the appointment with an original and three copies. Include self-addressed, stamped envelopes for all parties.

Custody or Visitation
For the filing of a new custody action, petition for modification, and/or petition for contempt, please consult an attorney or the Court Self-Help Center. Original pleadings should be submitted to the Prothonotary Office with the original and two copies. Should any pleading have a proposed order to be addressed by the court, the original and two copies should be submitted to the Prothonotary Office with self-addressed stamped envelopes. 
 
Protection From Abuse
You must appear in person at the Bail Administration Office, located at:
2nd floor of Historic Courthouse
50 N. Duke St.
Lancaster, PA 17602

You may appear Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This allows you ample time to see the judge. To qualify for a protection from abuse order, there must be either a family relationship or an intimate relationship with the person you want to file for protection from. After hours, call your local police department and ask for the Magisterial District Judge who is on call.

The petition must be filed by a member of the Pennsylvania Bar. There is a fee for subpoenas.