Pennsylvania Child Support: What It Means to You & What You Need to Know
Divorce is never easy, but it can also be really tough if you're going through the process with children. Child support is designed to help parents make sure that their kids have what they need to grow and succeed. If you're going through a divorce with children, it's important that you understand the child support laws in Pennsylvania and how they can affect your life and that of your kids.
In the simplest terms, child support is a payment from one parent to another that helps them financially take care of their children. It is considered a parent's legal obligation to maintain and care for their child/ren after divorce or separation.
If you're having difficulty navigating the Pennsylvania child support system, DoNotPay can help.
How to File for Child Support on your Own in Pennsylvania
If you are not getting child support payments, there is a chance that your ex-spouse is hurting the financial health of your family. You may want to file for child support in Pennsylvania but aren't sure where to start. Not everyone can afford an attorney, but luckily, you can file for child support without hiring a lawyer.
Here is the process you should follow:
- Fill out an application to open your child support case, which can be found here. Alternatively, you can apply online through the Pennsylvania Child Support E-Services website. You will need to fill in all of your information, including how many kids you have with the other parent and who their other parent is.
- You will also need to file a Complaint for Support. This is the official document that starts your case and requests the court to establish, enforce, or modify a child support order.
- The next step is to file a Paternity Verification Form. This is where you request that the other parent take a paternity test to determine if they are the biological father of your child/ren. If you have already established paternity, this step isn't required.
- When receiving assistance for child support through Pennsylvania, you will be assigned a caseworker who will help you through the process. If you require additional documentation, your caseworker will let you know.
- Once you have filed all of these documents, you will need to serve them on the other parent, either through mail or in person.
- The other parent will then have the opportunity to file a response.
- After all of these steps have been completed, your case will be reviewed by a judge who will make a final determination on child support payments.
How Are Child Support Payments Enforced in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania enforces child support payments by taking legal action against the delinquent parent. If this ever becomes necessary, your caseworker will inform you of the steps that must be taken to finally bring your ex-spouse into compliance.
Pennsylvania uses a number of legal actions to enforce child support, including:
- Income withholding: This is a process where the employer of the delinquent parent withholds child support payments from their paycheck.
- Driver's license suspension: If the delinquent parent falls behind on their child support payments, their driver's license can be suspended.
- Tax refund interception: The state can intercept the delinquent parent's tax refund and use it to pay back child support.
- Credit bureau reporting: The state will report the delinquent parent to credit bureaus, which may affect their credit score.
- Bank account seizure: The state can seize the delinquent parent's bank account and use the money to pay back child support.
- Jail time: The state can arrest the delinquent parent and put them in jail if they do not pay their child support.
About the Pennsylvania Child Support Program
The Child Support Program is a comprehensive child support enforcement agency run by the Department of Human Services. It is responsible for enforcing court-ordered child support payments as well as overseeing the distribution of child support collections.
For more information on the Pennsylvania Child Support Program, call (800) 932-0211, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can also call the Domestic Relations office for your county.
What Services Does the Pennsylvania Child Support Program Provide?
The Child Support Program provides case management services that include:
- Establishing, modifying, and enforcing child support orders
- Collecting and disbursing child support payments
- Providing genetic testing
- Providing access to the PA Child Support E-Services website
- Locating absent parents
- Assisting with medical support orders
Demand Child Support Payments With the Help of DoNotPay
In difficult times, especially when you have to demand child support payments from the other parent, it is beneficial to have some help. DoNotPay can assist with this process and provide you with all the information you need to get started.
If you want to file a demand letter for late child support payments but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 3 easy steps:
- Search child support on DoNotPay and enter the details of the person who owes the payments.
- Tell us more about the payment schedule, including the amount and frequency of the payments, the last payment they made and number of missed payments, and how much they owe you in total.
- Confirm your contact information and select whether you want us to mail or email the letter on your behalf. Choose how you would like to receive the payment and verify your signature.
Lower Child Support Payments With the Help of DoNotPay
If you are struggling to make ends meet and need help lowering your child support payments, DoNotPay can assist you in taking legal action.
- Search child support on DoNotPay and select the state your child support agreement was established in.
- Answer a series of questions about your current financial situation and your past payments to help guide the application.
- Confirm your current contact information, and enter the location of the county court that established your child support agreement, so we can mail your request on your behalf!
Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support in Pennsylvania
We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about child support in Pennsylvania so that you can find the answers to your questions quickly and easily.
What Is Included in a Child Support Payment?
In Pennsylvania, child support payments usually cover the costs of food, clothing, shelter, and other basic needs for the child.
How Is the Amount of Child Support Payments Calculated?
The amount of child support payments is usually based on the income of both parents and the number of children they are supporting.
Can I Go to Jail if I Don’t Pay Child Support?
Yes, you can go to jail if you do not pay your child support payments. Child support is a legal order and failure to follow the law could result in serious consequences.
Is Child Support Counted on My Taxes?
No, child support is not counted on your taxes.
How Long Will Child Support Payments Last?
Child support payments are usually ordered by the court until the child turns 18. However, there are cases when they may be extended into adulthood if the child requires special care, or decisions have been made that relate to the child's welfare.
Is There a Limit to the Amount of Back Child Support You Can Owe?
There is no limit to the amount of back child support that you can owe. However, you can reduce or eliminate this debt through an agreement reached between both parties.
Why Use DoNotPay to Help With Child Support in Pennsylvania
DoNotPay saves time by automating many of the tasks that need to be done in order to resolve a child support issue. This includes gathering your information, preparing documents, and mailing them to court on your behalf.
DoNotPay is user-friendly and works with the laws of Pennsylvania to offer you simple solutions for resolving child support issues. It saves you money by assisting you in taking legal action without the expense of hiring a lawyer.
More Child Support Guides From DoNotPay
DoNotPay has child support guides by states that you can check out.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DoNotPay is a free online chatbot that helps users resolve legal issues without the hassle of paperwork or complicated processes. With DoNotPay, you can easily take care of everyday issues such as:
- Hotel Upgrades
- Fighting Email Spam
- Creating a Power of Attorney
- Connecting With an Inmate
- Getting Help With Bills
Your time is valuable–let DoNotPay take care of the details for you starting today.