Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee

The Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee advises the Supreme Court on matters related to the procedural rules governing actions for divorce, support, custody, paternity and protection from abuse.

The committee has ten members: two of the positions are reserved for the administrative judges of the family divisions of the Philadelphia and Allegheny Courts of Common Pleas and one position is reserved for a county court administrator.

The primary goal of the committee is to simplify family law practice by recommending new rules or amendments to existing procedural rules relating to family law matters. The committee reviews legislation and monitors court decisions to ensure that the rules conform to developments in the law and to the realities of family law practice. The committee strives to promote statewide uniformity of practice, to streamline procedures and to encourage the prompt disposition of family law matters.

Committee members and staff speak at conferences and seminars to inform lawyers, court personnel and others of recent and proposed changes in procedural rules related to family law matters. The committee strives to maintain open channels of communication with those who work with or are affected by the rules it proposes, including judges, lawyers, court administrators, domestic relations section personnel, the Department of Public Welfare and the public.

The committee originated in 1984 as a section of the Civil Procedural Rules Committee and became a separate committee in 1987. In 1997, the committee's title was changed to the Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee.

Committee appointments are for three years with possible reappointment for a second three-year term. In special circumstances the Supreme Court may extend or reduce the term of an appointment. Committee members are appointed by the Supreme Court and are knowledgeable about the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure governing domestic relations matters and are experienced in family law practice in Pennsylvania. The Domestic Relations Procedural Rules Committee has nine voting members and one ex-officio member who is identified by, and is a member of, the Pennsylvania Association of Court Management.

Committee Members

David J. Slesnick, Esq., Chair
Ellen M. Sweeney, Esq., Vice Chair
Elisabeth Bennington, Esq.
Honorable Kim Berkeley Clark
Honorable Daniel J. Clifford
Jennifer P. Bierly, Esq.
Lucille Marsh, Esq.
Walter J. McHugh, Esq.
Honorable Margaret Theresa Murphy
Lisa A. Siciliano, Esq., ex officio

Staff Members

Bruce J. Ferguson, Counsel
Suzanne M. Creavey, Assistant

Proposed Rules for Public Comment

Proposal Deadline
Proposed amendments of Pa.R.C.P. Nos. 1920.14, 1920.42, 1920.46, 1920.51, 1920.72 and 1920.73 March 02, 2018

Approved Rules

Description Effective Date
Rule 1910.16-1 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure is amended October 01, 2017
Rule 1910.16-6 is amended October 01, 2017
Rules 1910.16-1, 1910.16-2, 1910.16-3, 1910.16-3.1, 1910.16-4, 1910.16-6, and 1910.16-7 are amended May 01, 2017
Rule 1910.16-4 is amended January 01, 2017
Rules 1930.2, 1930.4, and 1930.5 January 01, 2017
Rule 1959 is amended December 26, 2016

Prior Proposed Rules

Proposal Deadline
Recommendation 167 November 09, 2017
Recommendation 166 September 12, 2017
Recommendation 160 August 11, 2017
Recommendation 154 - Proposed amendment of Pa.R.C.P. Nos. 1915.3 and 1915.3-2 August 07, 2017
Recommendation 155 June 02, 2017
Recommendation 145 February 24, 2017
Recommendation 155 February 24, 2017
Recommendation 158 February 24, 2017
Recommendation 159 February 24, 2017
Recommendation 163 February 24, 2017
Proposed amendment of Pa.R.C.P. Nos. 1915.3 and 1915.3-2 November 01, 2016
Recommendation 152 August 12, 2016
Recommendation 143 February 26, 2016
Recommendation 144 February 26, 2016
Recommendation 146 February 25, 2016
Recommendation 145 November 13, 2015
Proposed Amendment of Pa.R.Crim.P. 105, Pa.Rs.J.C.P. 121 & 1121, and Pa.R.C.P. No. 239 with Rescission of Pa.R.C.P. No. 239.8 October 01, 2015
Proposed Recommendation No. 140 - Adoption of Chapter 1950 May 18, 2015
Proposed Recommendation No. 142 - Amendment of Pa.R.C.P. No. 1915.4-4 May 18, 2015
Recommendation 139 November 07, 2014
Recommendation 136 October 03, 2014
Republished Recommendation 128 October 03, 2014
Recommendation 135 August 08, 2014
Recommendation 137 August 08, 2014
Recommendation 126 August 01, 2014
Recommendation 128 February 28, 2014
Recommendation 129 February 28, 2014
Recommendation 130 February 28, 2014
Recommendation 126 February 14, 2014
Recommendation 127 February 14, 2014
Recommendation 123 (Republication) October 25, 2013
Recommendation 115 (republication) February 01, 2013
Recommendation 120 (republication) February 01, 2013
Recommendation 121 February 01, 2013
Recommendation 122 February 01, 2013
Recommendation 117 August 15, 2012
Recommendation 118 August 10, 2012
Recommendation 119 August 10, 2012
Recommendation 120 August 10, 2012
Recommendation 115 August 03, 2012
Recommendation 116 August 03, 2012
Recommendation 112 August 29, 2011
Recommendation 113 August 29, 2011
Recommendation 109 May 23, 2011
Recommendation 110 May 23, 2011
Recommendation 111 May 23, 2011
Recommendation 104 February 11, 2011
Recommendation 105 February 11, 2011
Recommendation 106 February 11, 2011
Recommendation 107 February 11, 2011
Amendment to the Rules of Civil Procedure relating to domestic relations matters as set forth herein October 24, 2010
Recommendation 91 (republication) February 10, 2010
Recommendation 98 February 10, 2010
Recommendation 97 February 13, 2009
Recommendation 91 October 31, 2008
Recommendation 95 August 08, 2008
Recommendation 94 May 16, 2008