134 North Church Street, Second Floor, West Chester, Pennsylvania 19380

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Frequently Asked Questions

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 http://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 http://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 http://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.

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