PA Child Support Program

How to Apply for Child Support Services

How to Apply for Child Support Services

To apply for child support services in Pennsylvania, please read and follow the directions provided in the frequently asked questions below:

Who can apply?
  • A custodial parent or person who has primary care, custody and control of a dependent child(ren). A custodian may also be a governmental agency.
  • An attorney on behalf of a parent or custodian and child(ren).
  • A putative father who would like to establish legal paternity for his child.
When can I apply?
  • Any time as long as the child is a dependent minor and you have full or shared custody, you have control of the child(ren), or you are a putative father. If you live in Pennsylvania, you can apply even if the noncustodial parent, the parent who does not have primary care, custody, or control of the child(ren), lives in another state.
  • If you need to apply to receive cash assistance, you will be referred by the County Assistance Office to the county Domestic Relations Section to take steps to get child support from the noncustodial parent.
Do you have an open child support case?
  • If you already have an open child support case in Pennsylvania for the same child(ren) and want to request a change in the support amount, contact your local county Domestic Relations Section to ask about modification. Click here for frequently asked questions about support order modification.
  • If you already have an open child support case in Pennsylvania with the same noncustodial parent and would like to add a child to the case, contact your local county Domestic Relations Section and ask about how to proceed.
  • If you already have an open child support case in another state for the same child(ren) and/or with the same noncustodial parent, contact your local county Domestic Relations Section to get instructions and information on how to apply or modify your order in another state.
How do I apply?
Must I pay a fee to apply?
  • The following fees may be required based on the facts of your support case:
    • Administration Fees - The Domestic Relations Section may charge one-time or annual fees to the parent or custodian and/or the noncustodial parent for each child support case.
    • Annual Federal User Fee - A Federal $25 annual fee must be collected each year from some child support cases. The fee is charged only when at least $500 in child support payments is collected each year and the parent or custodian has never received cash assistance.


    • In Pennsylvania, the Department of Public Welfare:

      • Pays the fee for families with child support collections in a year between $500 and $1,999.99, or
      • Deducts the fee from the custodial parent or custodian after $2,000 of child support is collected in a year from the noncustodial parent.

      Click here for frequently asked questions about the $25 Annual Federal User Fee.

      • Judicial Computer Project Fee - A $23.50 fee is charged to the parent or custodian and/or the noncustodial parent and collected by the Domestic Relations Section to begin each complaint for support.
    • Contact your local Domestic Relations Section to find out more about the fees you must pay in your county.
When applying, what if I am not sure who is the father of the child(ren)?
Who can I contact with questions?
  • Contact your local county Domestic Relations Section.
  • Call the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement Helpline at 1-800-932-0211 with general child support questions. Case specific questions about the management of your case should be directed to your local county Domestic Relations Section.
  • Click here for frequently asked questions about child support services.