Children's Court | Partial Custody Hearing
A Judge can schedule a partial custody hearing in your case, or it may be scheduled
after unsuccessful custody conciliation, or after mediation on petitions to modify
and/or enforce partial custody if no agreement is reached. A party requests a partial
custody hearing after an unsuccessful conciliation, or mediation if appropriate,
by filing a praecipe
at the Child Custody Department.
Cases heard by the Partial Custody Hearing Officer (PCHO) involve matters dealing
with partial custody/visitation only, or in special cases assigned by a judge, the
PCHO may conciliate an interim or special relief matter.
In order to proceed to a partial custody hearing, you must prepare and file a pre-trial
statement ten days in advance of the hearing date. The original must be filed with
the Department of Court Records, a copy must be served on the other side and opposing
counsel if represented, and a copy must be delivered to the Custody Department.
The pre-trial statement shall include the following:
- A narrative statement of the facts, which will be proven.
- The current custody schedule.
- The name of each person whom you intend to call at trial as witnesses, including
experts, and a report from each of the listed expert witnesses. It is important
to note that witnesses not listed to testify within the pre-trial statement will
not be permitted to do so at the hearing.
- A list identifying all of the exhibits, which you plan to offer into evidence. It
is important to note that only exhibits listed within the pre-trial statement will
be offered into evidence at the hearing.
- A proposed partial custody schedule and proposed order.
At the time of the hearing, you may bring counsel if you are represented. The parties
may come to an agreement or if not, the PCHO will issue a report, recommendation
and interim order to both parties. If neither party files exceptions within twenty
days, the order will become final. For more information on filing exceptions, please
go to the partial custody hearing section of the custody portion of the Children’s Court manual