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No, you do not need an attorney to file a case in the Domestic Relations office. You may start an action in person or online. To start an action online, visit www.childsupport.state.pa.us. You may start an action in person by visiting our office any weekday between 8:30am-3pm and we will explain the process and help you complete and file the necessary paperwork.
Please bring the following information:
Your interview will take about one hour.
You can file a new child support case on our website at www.childsupport.state.pa.us We will review it and contact you to confirm that we have filed your complaint for support and communicate next steps to you.
Generally it takes 3-4 weeks from the date of your intake until the date of your conference.
Currently, support conferences are held over the telephone. Ahead of the conference, all parties who are ordered to participate by phone, will be provided a dedicated email address to submit inocme and expense information. (Please note this applies to support establishment conferences. Hearings are in person unless the party has applied for an accommodation)
You will receive a telephone conference cover sheet as well as an Order to appear by phone. You will need to submit :
Defendants should be prepared to make their first payment following the conference call
By all means you must appear for the conference by phone and you should also have a parent/ guardian with you on the call.
Testing starts at $22.00 per member that is tested, cost can increase depending on where parties are tested if there is a unique situation. (*this price is subject to change by contract and is not controlled by the DRS)
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.
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 Support Hearing. Most plaintiff’s are entitled to a staff attorney to represent them at the Support 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 and a half hours.
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.
You will receive notice of your hearing either in person at you conference or through the U.S. Mail. We schedule 20 hearings per day, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. All hearings are scheduled at 9:00 a.m. The Hearing Officer will call the list, assign an order to the list and hear the cases in that order. You are required to remain until dismissed by the court.
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.
You should inform your enforcement officer and/or their support staff; or update your information online at www.childsupport.state.pa.us. You must inform us immediately of any changes, including address, telephone number or employer.
All clients are assigned an enforcement officer to help you with your case. Assignments are made based on the defendant’s last name. We usually give you that name and contact information at the conclusion of your first conference. You may call our office during normal business hours Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. -4:30 p.m. to find out exactly who has been assigned to your case. Our phone number is (610) 344-6215 and our Fax number is (610) 344-6977.
We have many options available to you. You can visit the Pennsylvania Child Support website at http://www.childsupport.state.pa.us/ for an update. There you can sign up for alerts and emails as well. You may also contact our office by phone at 610-344-6215 or using our Automated voice response number 1-800-221-INFO
The following are some of techniques that may be used: Credit Bureau Reporting, Driver’s License Suspension, Professional License Suspension, Recreational License Suspension, Tax Refund Intercept, Income attachment, Arrears conferences Contempt Court, Seizure of bank accounts or other assets, Passport denial, or intercept of lottery winnings.