Child support is intended to provide for a child’s needs and is an essential issue to address when a couple divorces. There are several steps required to obtain child support in Pennsylvania and information about how to enforce an order.
Child support process
The parent who is requesting child support will need to file an application and provide information about both parents. This includes their names, addresses, income information and any other related documentation. If the child’s paternity has not been established, that will need to be completed first before the process can go forward.
After all documents have been submitted, the child support office will determine how much child support should be paid each month by the noncustodial parent. This is based on state guidelines.
Enforcing the order
If the parent who is ordered to pay child support does not meet their obligations, there are options to enforce the order.
One common enforcement method is income withholding, where the child support amount is automatically deducted from the noncustodial parent’s paycheck and directed to the child support office, which will then ensure it is paid to the receiving parent.
The nonpaying parent can also face fines, jail time and seizure of their bank accounts and tax refunds. In other situations, their driver’s license, professional licenses and other privileges can be revoked until they pay. Nonpayment can also affect their credit score because those delinquencies may be reported to the credit bureaus.
If a parent needs assistance to apply for child support or to enforce a child support order, there is help available.