The Custody Department schedules custody complaints and petitions for all stages of the court process that occur prior to judicial involvement. The Custody Department includes the Generations program, which provides parents with information and tools to co-parent and communicate effectively in the best interests of their children.
What is the Generations Program?
The Generations program is a two-part alternative dispute resolution process. All parties are required to participate in the Generations program each time a complaint/petition for custody is filed.
Step One: Education seminar. The Generations education class requirement can be completed by reviewing the Education Booklet.
The password to access the book is contained in your scheduling order.
Step Two: Mediation session. The Generations mediation requirement will be conducted remotely, either by telephone or videoconference.
- Parties are required to contact the Custody Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 412.350.4311 five (5) days in advance of the scheduled date to provide a phone number or email address where they may be reached during that day/time or the mediation session will not occur. The case will not be rescheduled without parties providing contact information to the Court.
- If you provide a telephone number only to the Custody Department, Court staff will arrange for your proceeding to be conducted by phone. Failure to answer your phone to join the telephone conference on your case may constitute a failure to appear and your case will be processed accordingly.
- You are NOT permitted to record the mediation session, nor are you permitted to have any children or third parties in attendance. You must be in a quiet place, free of distractions, and present yourself in the same manner you would for an in-person Court appearance.
- Attorneys may NOT be present for your mediation session.
- If you have been a victim of domestic violence within the past twenty-four (24) months, you may waive out of the mediation session by filing a Domestic Violence Waiver. Please send a copy of your completed waiver to the Custody Department at email@example.com or by mail to Family Law Center, Custody Department, 440 Ross Street, Suite 130, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
What happens after I have completed the Generations Program?
If you and the other party agree to a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) at your mediation session, you may decide to turn the MOU into a final consent custody order. If you choose this option, either party may bring the completed MOU to the courthouse between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. to be scheduled for further court proceedings in front of your judge of record. When you appear in front of your judge both parties must be present.
If you and the other party do not agree to an MOU that you turn into a consent custody order:
- If you do NOT have a current custody order on your case, then you will be scheduled for a remote interim relief hearing before the Custody Hearing Officer. Carefully review your scheduling order for all information regarding this hearing. Requirements may differ depending on the scheduled event and the court officer conducting the event. The information contained herein does NOT replace language, instructions, and your responsibilities contained in any scheduling order.
- If you DO have a current custody order on your case, you must decide if you wish to move forward in the court process. You have 120 days from the date of your mediation session to decide. If you want to move forward to the next step, you must contact the Court via email at firstname.lastname@example.org by phone at 412.350.4311 to request scheduling of the next court event and submit a Remote Client Information Form. Failure to do so will result in dismissal of your case.
- Court staff will schedule your case for the next appropriate court proceeding.
- Carefully review your scheduling order for all information regarding the court event. Requirements may differ depending on the scheduled event and the court officer conducting the event. The information contained herein does NOT replace language, instructions, and your responsibilities contained in any scheduling order.
- Attorneys MAY be present at your conciliation or hearing.
The Custody Department can be reached by email at email@example.com, by phone at 412.350.4311, or by mail at Family Law Center, Suite 130, 440 Ross Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.