Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania
County of Allegheny
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:
  1. A narrative statement of the facts, which will be proven.
  2. The current custody schedule.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.