Family Law Unit

The Family Law Unit helps clients in matters involving, custody, protection from abuse, and related family law matters.  It does not handle divorce matters, child support or spousal support matters.

Practice Areas: Family Law   Relocation   Child Custody   Paternity   Protection From Abuse

Intake Procedure:

Call the Family Law Intake Line at 215.981.3838 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between the hours of 09:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.  Callers are not able to leave a message.  The Family Law Intake Line may be closed early if call volume is high.

We recommend calling at least three weeks before your court date before a Master and at least six weeks before your hearing before a Judge.

PLA's Family Law Intake Line does not accept applications for assistance with divorce, child support, or spousal support.

Assistance for immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault is available from PLA's Immigrant Women's Legal Assistance Hotline, which assists callers with legal problems including divorce, custody, child/spousal support, protection from abuse, and immigration.  Speakers of languages other than English and Spanish may leave a message with the Immigrant Women's Legal Assistance Hotline by calling 215.981.3838 at any time.

Eligibility Requirements:

Applicant must be LSC eligible and must be a resident of Philadelphia, or must be seeking custody of a child living in Philadelphia.

The Family Law Unit does not represent defendants in protection from abuse proceedings.

Funded By: Legal Services Corporation, Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women, Pennsylvania IOLTA, Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I file for a protection from abuse order?

A protection from abuse order is a civil order that provides protection from harm by family or household members, sexual or intimate partners, or someone with whom you have a child in common.

You can file your petition for a protection from abuse order with the Court of Common Pleas in the county where you live (permanently or temporarily), where you work, in any county where the abuser can be served (i.e., where s/he lives or works), or in the county where the abuse took place.


Kristy Lopez - Paralegal

Justice for Families Grant Family Court Help Center Advocate

Yvette Reyes - Paralegal

Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Coordinator

Brittany Chung - Paralegal
Katharine Frank - Paralegal

Haverford House Post-Bac Fellow/Paralegal

Emilia Golanska - Attorney
Deeya Haldar - Attorney

Deeya Haldar is the co-supervisor of the Family Law Unit and the co-supervisor of the Drexel Civil Litigation Field Clinic.

Susan Pearlstein - Attorney

Susan Pearlstein is the co-supervisor of the Family Law Unit and the co-supervisor of the Drexel Civil Litigation Field Clinic.

Diane Rosario - Paralegal

Senior Paralegal

Angela Ruan - Attorney
Arly Smith-Pearson - Attorney
Ashley Walker - Attorney


Philadelphia Family Court Has Moved!

Philadelphia Family Court is no longer located at 34 South 11th Street or at 1801 Vine Street.  The court is now located at:

1501 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

For information about where to go in the building for different services, see the court's web site.