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How to file for child custody modification in Pennsylvania

Many Philadelphia residents would agree that divorce is hard on the children. While parents can look forward to a better future ahead, children may develop feelings of insecurity. Therefore, in the best interest of the child, courts in the country, including Philadelphia, traditionally give child custody to one parent, while the other pays for child support. However, child custody can be modified.

In order to file a petition for child custody modification, the applicant needs to fill out the relevant form and pay a fee of $42.68. A person may also make an appeal that he or she be excused from paying the application fee by filing a Petition to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. If an applicant receives SSI, then the individual also needs to bring a relevant photo ID card.

The petition for child custody modification needs to be filled out and sent to the clerk of the court. If a person is making the petition personally, the fee can be paid in cash, money order or with a credit card. Checks are not accepted. Besides the original, six copies need to be sent as well.

Once the child custody modification petition is filed, then the court will order a hearing. The parties are informed about the date of hearing. There are also a few legal terms that are used in the petition. These include the plaintiff, the individual who has filed the petition; the defendant who is the individual against whom the petition was filed and the respondent who is the individual against whom the child custody modification order was filed. Whatever the reason for child custody modification, the court will always consider the best interest of the child.

Source: Courts.Phila.gov, "Petition to modify Custody," Accessed on July 9, 2015

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