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I have a support order but no custody order

Reading, PA |

My ex and I went through domestics and he pays me child support and we had a verbal agreement that he can have the kids every other weekend. I've been finding out things like he is homeless, when he did have his house the kids were there on weekends with no heat and no food. He now dates a woman who gets drunk in front of my children and then she proceeds to yell nasty things about me to my kids. I had stated since I didn't not feel that was an appropriate environment and he told me he was living with his sister I felt he should see the kids at big sisters until he was back on his feet and in a stable environment. He keeps telling me what I am doing is wrong. He says I keep the kids from them when he is the one choosing not to see them. I have no money for a lawyer .... help!

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Attorney answers 3


It is possible to go through the custody process without an attorney although it's always better to have one. The necessary information you need will be at the Berks County Law Library, and you should be able to find the forms at the Prothonotary's Office or even on the county website.

Legal Services, Inc. may be willing to help you prepare a custody petition, as well, and may be able to attend a custody conciliation conference for you, if you meet their income criteria. I don't know how backed up they may be.

Many counties have bar association programs to help individuals with custody problems handle their own cases. Call your county bar association to check.


Check with the county bar association to see if they have a pro bono program and if you qualify for a free attorney. If not they still may have all the forms to help you represent yourself.

This response does not create an ongoing duty to respond to questions, nor does it form an attorney-client relationship, it is simply the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. The Answering Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Responses are based solely on Pennsylvania law unless stated otherwise.


If you are unable to secure counsel, and are unable to find an attorney that will represent you pro bono, and choose to represent yourself, take a look at the Berks Count Court of Common Pleas website and specifically the Prothonotary's page for helpful information on filing fees, appropriate forms, and instructions on where to file. The forms for custody are located at and from there you can link back to the Courthouse main page. Please understand that this is not a substitute for experienced legal counsel, and you should always go into any custody action with the help of an attorney.

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