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No, you do not need an attorney to file a case in the Domestic Relations office. Come to the office any weekday between 8:30am-2pm and we will explain the process and help you complete and file the necessary paperwork. If you’d like, we can also arrange for free legal representation through our legal department.
Please bring the following information:
Your interview will take about one hour.
If an order is entered after the initial support conference, a wage attachment will be issued immediately. It normally takes an employer two to three weeks to begin deductions from the defendant’s paycheck. The defendant is required by law to make payments on his/her own until the automated deduction is completed. If payments do not arrive in a timely fashion, the Enforcement Officer assigned to your case will investigate with both the employer and the defendant.
Generally it takes 3-4 weeks from the date of your intake until the date of your conference.
If the defendant has been served with notice to appear (this is usually handled by our office through certified mail), and we have wage information and paternity has been established, a temporary order for support will be issued and a hearing will be scheduled before a Master. If we don’t have proper service or wage information, we will continue our efforts to obtain this information and reschedule the conference. If the defendant does not live in Chester County, we may request another county or state to enter the order. We process all necessary paperwork in that event.
$32 per person. Testing is performed on mother, father and child.
You will receive an Order to Appear for the conference with a list of the required documents. These documents include
Defendants should be prepared to make their first payment at the conference.
By all means you must appear for the conference and you should also bring a parent/ guardian along with you.
Please call the our office (610-344-6215) as far in advance of the conference as possible. We will arrange for a sheriff to be present at the conference, and to escort you to your car if necessary.
No. You do not need to complete that for the support conference.
If the defendant challenges your entitlement on economic grounds, a Temporary Order can be entered, even if no divorce complaint has been filed. If the conference officer has the proper financial information, there is a pending divorce complaint filed in Chester County, and there is an Equitable Distribution claim included in that complaint, the conference officer will enter a temporary order for spousal support even if the defendant challenges the plaintiff’s entitlement. This applies to Alimony Pendente Lite (APL) as well.
Using the parties’ incomes and the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines, the conference officer will calculate the proper amount of support owed by law.
Income for purposes of support is “net income.” Net income is gross income from any source less taxes and mandatory retirement and union dues.
Basic child support is intended to cover the following for the child in question:
Responsibility for other expenses, such as child care and health insurance premiums, is assigned to the parties, depending on who pays them directly and usually in proportion to their incomes, and added to the base amount.
It is always wise to seek legal counsel, but it is not mandatory to have an attorney represent you at the support conference. If either party does not agree with the guideline amount calculated at the conference, they can request the case be listed for a Master Hearing. All plaintiff's are entitled to a staff attorney to represent them at the Master Hearing.
If he/she has been properly served with notice of the conference, regardless of whether plaintiff or defendant, an order may be entered in his/her absence.
Approximately one hour.
Children are entitled to support until they are emancipated. In Pennsylvania, emancipation is defined as lasting until age 18, or until the child graduates high school, whichever occurs later. Emancipation may be later for children with special needs. That determination is up to the Court.
Yes. Depending on the amount of overnight time the child is with either party.
Most often, conferences will be rescheduled by the agreement of both parties. If there is no agreement to reschedule the conference the Court may make a determination to reschedule that conference to the next available date.
If you know about your hearing and you don’t appear, an order may be entered in the other party’s favor or a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest.
Your enforcement officer and/or his/her support staff. You must inform us immediately of any changes, including address, telephone number or employer.