Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, commonly referred to as Montco is home to over 800,000 residents and a number of townships and municipalities. The Court of Common Pleas in Montgomery County is the highest available court, and holds six divisions: Judges, Civil, Criminal, Family, Juvenile, and Orphans. The Family division is also known as the Domestic Relations division. All proceedings in the court are to be held within Montgomery County's courthouse, located a 2 East Airy Street in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The court is open from 8:30 am to 4:15 pm on business days. The court has 20 judges in service, and 7 senior judges, as well as 2 judges for the Orphan's Court.
Family Court in Montgomery County
The Family division, or Domestic Relations, as it is known, is in charge of all Family Law matters in Montgomery County. The Domestic Relations division is designed to handle cases of divorce, support for children and spouses, temporary and permanent alimony, division of marital property, child custody and even services to protect victims of domestic abuse. The court website offers online payment for child support obligations.
The Family Court Process
In order for a case to be considered by the court, all parties involved must go through a brief intake process. This is essentially the filing of your case. You will want to have help from an attorney, while filing your papers. Depending on your case, the court demands a number of documents before your case can officially be filed with the court. You will have to attend an "intake appointment" where you will need to produce a number of documents, including:
- social security cards
- birth certificates
- photo ID
- proof of address
- employer information
- divorce decree/marriage license
- proof of income
- proof of medical insurance coverage
Additional documentation may be necessary, depending on your case. You may need documentation such as daycare costs, or information regarding the other parent if you case deals with custody or a demand for support. Once you have your documents in order, you will attend your intake interview. The intake interviewer will answer any questions you have about your case. From here, your case will either go to a conference of a hearing. If a solution cannot be reached at a conference, it will likely move forward to hearing with a hearing officer, who is appointed by the judge, to make the determination. At this stage, if you do not already have the representation of an attorney, you should seek out a Family Law attorney immediately. If you disagree with your results from the hearing, you may file an exception to the hearing officer and you will have an appearance before a judge.
Once a hearing is scheduled, all parties involved in the matter must attend. Failure to attend court can result in fines or imprisonment.
If you or a loved one is involved in matters of Family Law in Montgomery County, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.