How long will it take me to get divorced?
If neither party alleges fault and both parties agree, a final divorce decree may be entered within 90 days of the service of a complaint. However, if one party claims fault or does not consent, the divorce process may take several years. Complicated property issues may also prolong the divorce process.
What will happen once I file for custody of my child?
In Chester County, once a custody complaint is filed, both parties must attend parenting class. Generally, the parents must also participate in mediation, where a neutral third person will work with the parties to settle the case. If mediation is unsuccessful, the parties will attend a Conciliation Conference, where a Master will recommend a custody schedule. Either party may then request a trial before a Judge.
What will happen if I file for support?
The Domestic Relations Office handles support matters in Chester County. After a complaint is filed, a support conference is held which results in a temporary order. If either person is unhappy with the result of the conference, they may request a hearing before a Master. Thereafter, either party may ask for a judge to review the case.
How much child support will I owe?
The Court will determine the amount of child support. You can obtain an estimation of your child support obligation at https://www.humanservices.state.pa.us.
Can I seek a Protection from Abuse Order?
To receive the protection of such an order, the Plaintiff must establish a familial or intimate relationship with the Defendant.
I recently learned a child is being abused. What should I do?
Information about child abuse reporting requirements is available at https://www.preventchildabusepa.org/.
I have been charged with my first criminal offense. What can I do?
In Chester County, individuals facing criminal charges may be eligible to participate in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program. The ARD Application is available online at https://www.chesco.org/DocumentCenter/View/3164.
I am accused of committing a DUI. What are the penalties?
The penalties for DUI are based on the number of times a person has committed the offense and the person’s blood alcohol level at the time of the offense. A helpful guide to DUI sanctions can be found at https://www.dmv.state.pa.us/legislation/dui.shtml.
PennDOT says I have to give up my license; is there anything I can do?
If you are facing licensing issues, you may have the right to a hearing or an appeal.