The Court changes it's procedures all the time. It's best to have an attorney who keeps up with the latest developments, so that your case is not derailed on a point of procedure. Below are the latest changes to Allegheny County, PA Family Division procedure. Most of the changes are modest, but worth knowing regardless.
21 additional time slots have been added each week. This should help shorten the time between filing for custody and attending mediation.
Due to IRS regulation, DRO's are no longer allowed to discuss IRS support intercept issues with counsel, but DRO's can speak directly with clients. Unfortunately, DRO's do not generally have access to this information.
3. Attorney support complaints
The attorney support complaint process is changing. Now, the Plaintiff's attorney will need to make service of the support complaint and to bring an Affidavit of Service tot he support conference/hearing.
Most support complaints are made by parties although procedures exist for counsel to file on behalf of the client. This new change makes it even more advantageous for parties to file for support themselves. But, either way, it is always best to have counsel attend the support conference/hearing.
4. Electronic Free Zones
The court has set up "electronic free zones" on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th floors of the family court facility. The "zone" applies to telephone conversations and not emails or texts.
However, we will see what practical difference this actually makes.
5. Answers to Motions
The Court is considering requiring "Answers" to (Non-Emergency) Motions to be sent to opposing counsel at least 24 hours prior to the date of Motions. This is a great idea. It will help responsible parties' and counsel and limit "sandbagging". We will seek to get this change implemented. Change would be by local rule.