Child Support Enforcement in Pennsylvania

By Jones & Associates Law P.C.

Child support can be a major issue for many parents and has a great impact on their children. Children should be financially supported and enforcement tools can help ensure children receive what they need according to a child support order.

Enforcement Options

If a parent fails to pay child support as required by their order, Pennsylvania has many ways to put pressure on them. In most cases, the state will collect unpaid child support through income withholding of the paying parent’s wages. Other methods of child support enforcement can include:

  • Holding the delinquent parent in civil contempt

  • Jail for up to six months, a fine up to $500 or probation for up to six months

  • Seizure of bank accounts

  • Seizure of any personal injury or workers’ compensation awards

  • Seizure of federal and state tax refunds

  • Garnishment of workers’ compensation benefits

  • Suspension of driver’s, professional, occupational or recreational (hunting & fishing) licenses

  • Passport denial or revocation

  • Liens against real or personal property

  • Interception of lottery winnings

  • Credit bureau reporting

  • Publication of the non-paying parent’s name in the newspaper as a delinquent parent

Child support enforcement services are provided in Pennsylvania by the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement. Parents who do not meet their child support obligations can face criminal prosecution and other serious consequences.

Just as it can help with child support enforcement, the family law process can also help with child support modifications. Parents should be familiar with the different options to help guide them through all aspects of their child support obligations.