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PA Child Support Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Last modified on: May 30, 2015

Paternity
1. What is the purpose of the acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form?
The AOP form allows unmarried mothers to establish paternity for their child without going through a court, and gives the father legal rights and duties to the child. It also gives the child rights and duties to the father.
2. Who completes the acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form?
When a child is born to an unmarried woman, the birth mother and birth father who are not married to each other may complete an AOP form.
3. Will the father’s name be on the birth certificate if an acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form is completed?
Once the AOP form is received, it will be verified for accuracy before being processed. Afterwards, the Department of Health, Division of Vital Records (DVR) is notified that paternity has been established and is provided with the father’s name to list on the birth certificate. If the birth certificate is issued without the father’s name, the AOP may not have been received prior to the printing of the birth certificate. Parents may request an updated birth certificate from DVR.
4. What last name will appear on the child’s birth certificate if an acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form is completed?
The name on the birth record filed at the hospital is provided to the Department of Health, Division of Vital Records and will appear on the birth certificate. Completing an acknowledgment of paternity form will not change a child’s name on the birth certificate.
5. Who can witness signatures on an acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form?
Any third party over the age of eighteen can witness the parents signing the AOP form including hospital staff, friends, family, or neighbors. The birth mother and father cannot witness each other’s signature. Doing so will make the form invalid. The form does not need to be notarized; however, there are criminal penalties for giving false information or statements to authorities.
6. Can a minor sign the acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form without parental consent?
Yes, a minor may sign the AOP form without parental consent, although they are encouraged to speak with their parents or trusted adult for guidance. A signature confirms that they fully understand their rights, responsibilities and obligations regarding the child. Otherwise, the AOP form should not be signed.
7. Can a married woman complete an acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form for a child who is born to someone other than her husband?
No. Only an unmarried woman may complete the AOP form.
8. What if the mother and/or father do not have a Social Security Number (SSN)?
A parent who does not have an SSN must sign the “No Social Security Number Declaration” and submit it along with the original completed Acknowledgment of Paternity form.
9. Is a photocopy or faxed copy of the acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form acceptable?
No. Only an original, completed AOP form will be accepted and processed by the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement.
10. Will the acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form be accepted without the father's signature?
No. The Bureau of Child Support Enforcement will not accept the AOP form without the father’s signature.
11. How can the mother establish paternity if an acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form is not completed?
If the father does not sign the AOP form, paternity must be established through the courts. The mother can go to the Domestic Relations Section and request paternity establishment services or consult with an attorney to be advised of her rights and possible course of action.
12. Will an acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) be accepted if the father completes and signs the form but the mother does not sign?
Yes, if the mother does not sign the AOP form, the father can complete and sign the form so it may be registered and certified as a claim of paternity for the child. A claim of paternity does not give the father any rights to the child; however, the father is entitled to receive notice of proceedings terminating the mother’s parental rights to the child. The father should consult an attorney regarding his rights and possible course of action regarding establishing parental rights to the child.
13. Can the mother take the acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form home to complete at a later date?
Yes. The AOP form does not have to be completed at the time of the child’s birth. The mother and/or father may take the form home to complete at their convenience. In order for the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement to accept and process the form, it must be received prior to the child’s 18th birthday.
14. Where is the original acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form sent?
The original AOP form is sent to:

The Department of Human Services
BCSE
Attention: Paternity Coordinator
P.O. Box 8018
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105-8018
15. What if the mother and/or father have doubts about who is the biological father?
The acknowledgment of paternity form should not be completed and signed. The mother and/or father can go to the Domestic Relations Section and request paternity establishment through genetic testing.

16. What if the acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form is incomplete?
A new AOP form must be completed and returned to the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement. This will cause delays in receiving a birth certificate that includes the father’s name.

17. What if the mother has multiple births?
A separate acknowledgment of paternity form must be completed for each child.

18. How long do the mother and father have to establish paternity?
The mother and father may establish paternity for the child up until the child’s 18th birthday.

19. Does the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) have a way to communicate with people who do not speak English?
Yes. BCSE provides translation and interpretation services for non-English speaking individuals. An interpreter is used during telephone conversations between BCSE staff and non-English speaking individuals.

20. If I established paternity through the Domestic Relations Section, how will I receive a copy of the birth certificate listing the father’s name?
The Department of Health, Division of Vital Records (DVR) is responsible for releasing all birth certificates for children born in Pennsylvania. The parent(s) are advised to contact DVR at P.O. Box 1528, New Castle, Pennsylvania 16103-1528, or telephone (724) 656-3100 for additional information.

21. Can I obtain a certified copy of the acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form?
Yes. If the AOP form is registered and certified, you can request a certified copy of the AOP form by contacting the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement toll-free at 1-800-932-0211.

22. How can either the mother or father cancel the acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form?
The mother or father must submit a signed statement requesting the cancellation of the AOP action within 60 days of the date the AOP form was signed, or the date of a court proceeding relating to the child, whichever occurs earlier. An AOP form may only be challenged in court on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.

23. How does a father who has a custody order, but has not established paternity, obtain a birth certificate with his name listed?
The father should contact the Division of Vital Records to request assistance in obtaining a birth certificate listing his name.

24. Why would a birth certificate be issued without the father’s name listed?
Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes §5103(i), provides that the name of the father shall be included on the birth record of the child of unmarried parents only if:
  • A father and mother have signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form, or
  • A court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction has issued an adjudication of paternity.

If the Division of Vital Records does not receive notification that paternity was established by one of these methods, a birth certificate is issued listing the father as “unknown”.
25. What happens if the mother and father complete an acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form and the father dies?
When the AOP is registered and certified by the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement, the rights and duties of the child regarding the father will be recognized, and the child may be eligible for Social Security benefits, insurance benefits, inheritance or estate distribution.
26. Can two women or two men complete the acknowledgment of paternity form?
No, they must go through an adoption process.
27. Can a surrogate mother and biological father complete an acknowledgment of paternity form?
No, they should contact an attorney.
28. Who may I contact if I have further questions regarding the acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) form?
For further questions and/or inquiries regarding the Pennsylvania Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity Program, please call the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement at 1-800-932-0211. A Child Support Enforcement Specialist will be happy to assist you.
Child Support Orders
1. How is the amount of a support obligation determined for child(ren) and/or spouse?

The amount of child support awarded by the court is established in accordance with the Pennsylvania Support Guideline, which is in the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 1910.16. The Support Guideline was developed on the premise that the child(ren) of separated or divorced parents should receive the same proportion of parental incomes as if the parents were together.
2. What can I do if I disagree with the child support order when it is established by the court?
An order of child support can only be changed by filing an appeal. The appeal must be filed within 20 days after the date the order is received or the date of the order, whichever occurs first. A demand for hearing must be filed with the county Domestic Relations Section that issued the support order.

3. What are some possible reasons for filing a Petition for Modification, Termination, or Reinstatement of an Existing Support Order?
A party to a support order may file a Petition for Modification if they can demonstrate a substantial and material change in circumstances. A substantial and material change in circumstance includes (but not limited to):
  • Existence of additional income, income sources or assets;
  • Increases in child care or medical coverage expenses;
  • Change in custody;
  • Emancipation of child;
  • Death of plaintiff receiving spousal support or alimony pendente lite; and/or,
  • New guideline amounts resulting from revised guidelines or when parties have reached a private agreement.
The petition must be filed with the court that entered the support order or with the court of the county to which the order has been transferred.
4. When are support payments due?
Support payments are due and owing as of the first day of the month. The total monthly obligation amount must be paid-in-full before the first (1st) day of the following month to prevent the accumulation of arrears and the potential for enforcement action.
5. How long will I have to pay child support?
Pennsylvania law establishes that both parents are liable for the support of their children who are unemancipated and 18 years of age or younger. However, parents may be liable for the support of their children who are 18 years of age or older. For example, a support obligation may continue for a child who is 18 and still attending high school. When a child is emancipated, or over 18 years of age and no longer attending high school, one of the parents may file a "Petition for Modification of an Existing Support Order" to request that the child support order be stopped. See Question and Answer #3 for more information. Additionally, there may be other situations, such as the existence of physical or emotional challenges, when parents may be required to pay support for a child who is 18 years of age or older.

Arrears remain an outstanding debt until paid in full, regardless of how long that takes. Modification of a child support order will not eliminate arrears that accumulated as a result of nonpayment of the support order.
6. What is the emancipation age in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania law establishes that both parents are liable for the support of their children who are unemancipated and 18 years of age or younger and still in high school.
7. Do I have to continue to pay child support when my child reaches age 18?
Parents may be liable for the support of their children who are 18 years of age or older. A support obligation may continue for a child who is 18 and still attending high school. When a child is emancipated, or over 18 years of age and no longer attending high school, one of the parents may file a "Petition for Modification of an Existing Support Order" to request that the child support order be stopped. Additionally, there may be special needs of a child where parents may be required to pay support beyond 18 years of age.
8. Do I have to pay my remaining arrears when my child emancipates?
Arrears remain an outstanding debt until paid in full, regardless of how long that takes. Modification of a child support order will not eliminate arrears that accumulated as a result of nonpayment of the support order.
Income-Withholding Orders
1. What is an income-withholding order?
A court order that directs an employer to deduct from a noncustodial parent’s wages:
1) current support;
2) amounts ordered on arrears; and
3) support related fees.
2. When is an income-withholding order issued?
The court will issue a mandatory income-withholding order if arrears accrue in an amount equal to one month's support obligation even if good cause has been shown or there is a written agreement not to impose income-withholding. An income-withholding order is not issued for self-employed noncustodial parents.
3. What portion of the noncustodial parent's wages will be withheld?

An employer may not withhold from disposable income (i.e. net income minus mandatory deductions) more than 100 percent of the required monthly support obligation amount, or 50 percent of income for an obligor supporting another family and 60 percent for those not supporting another family.

4. How long does it take for income-withholding to begin?

In most cases income-withholding orders take effect within 4-6 weeks from the time the income-withholding order is sent to the employer by the court. The noncustodial parent is responsible for making the payments until the income-withholding order takes effect.

Pennsylvania Insurance Intercept
1. What is the Pennsylvania Insurance Intercept Program?
The Domestic Relations Sections (DRS) has the authority to issue court orders to secure assets in order to collect support arrearages by intercepting or seizing judgments or settlements including, but not limited to personal injury and workers’ compensation awards. The DRS also has the authority to intercept and attach annuity and life insurance income from a child support obligor, either as the owner or beneficiary of the income, when the obligor owes support arrearages.
2. As an Insurer, do I have to participate in the Insurance Intercept Program?
Yes. Insurers who use the services of the Insurance Services Office (ISO) to match data with the Child Support Lien Network (CSLN) and/or the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement’s (OCSE) Insurance Match Program to report pending workers’ compensation and personal injury insurance awards meet the requirements of the Insurance Intercept Program under statute at 23 Pa. C.S. §4305 (b)(10). Insurers not participating in CSLN or OCSE’s Insurance Match Program must distribute monetary awards based on the requirements of 23 Pa. C.S. §4308.1.
3. Who is responsible for providing the written documentation confirming if child support arrears are owed?
The parent, responsible for paying child support or their attorney/insurer must provide written documentation confirming whether or not child support arrears are owed prior to the distribution of monetary awards. The attorney or insurer may use the services of a Department of Human Services-approved private judgment search company to obtain a statement as to whether or not arrears are owed. The Domestic Relations Section listed on the support order may be contacted to obtain the amount of child support arrears owed and to receive a Seize Order for that amount.
4. Is the obligor notified of the Non-disbursement Order that is issued to the Insurer?
If an insurer matches insurance award information with the Child Support Lien Network (CSLN) or Office of Child Support Enforcement through Insurance Service Office, a Non-disbursement Order is sent by CSLN or the Domestic Relation Section to the insurer, and a copy is mailed to the obligor.
5. How/Where are payments sent?
Under 23 Pa. C.S. §4305 (b)(10), the insurer should remit payment to the Domestic Relation Section address listed in the payment section of the Seize Order. Under 23 Pa. C.S. §4308.1, the amount of overdue arrears identified on the Pennsylvania Child Support Enforcement System website ( www.childsupport.state.pa.us) should be satisfied in accordance with the law and remitted to Pennsylvania State Collections and Disbursement Unit (PA-SCDU), P.O. Box 62005, Harrisburg, PA 17106-2005.
6. Can I be held liable for a mistaken payment?
Any insurer, attorney, or paying agent who makes distribution of the settlement proceeds based on the Non-disbursement Order or Seize Order, or based on the statement and written documentation of the insured, beneficiary, or private judgment search company is immune from any civil, criminal, or administrative penalties for making an erroneous distribution.
7. What if the beneficiary disputes the overdue arrears action?
A dispute may be based on mistaken identity, specifically, that the obligor owing overdue child support is not the beneficiary or prevailing party in the insurance settlement. If the beneficiary/claimant wants to dispute the intercept, the payment must be submitted to the Domestic Relations Section or PA-SCDU with the word "disputed" clearly written on the check, money order, etc.
8. How are disputed funds handled?
The Pennsylvania State Collection and Disbursement Unit (PA-SCDU) will place the monies in escrow pending resolution of the dispute. The respective county Domestic Relations Section will schedule a hearing to resolve the dispute. Once the dispute has been resolved, the arrears will be disbursed by PA-SCDU to the appropriate individual.

Nonpayment of Child Support Obligations
1. What can happen if a noncustodial parent does not pay child support?
Nonpayment of child support may result in:
  • Civil Contempt
  • Jail for up to six months, a fine up to $500, or probation for up to six months
  • Seizure of your bank accounts
  • Seizure of any Personal Injury or Workers Compensation Awards
  • Seizure of your Federal and State Tax Refunds
  • Suspension of your Driver’s, Professional, Occupational, and/or Recreational Licenses (Hunting & Fishing)
  • Passport Denial
  • Liens against any Real Property that you own
  • Interception of Lottery Winnings
  • Credit Bureau Reporting
  • Publication of your name in the newspaper as a delinquent parent


2. What is the Driver's License Suspension Program?

If no active income withholding order is in place and the obligor owes support equal to or greater than three months of the monthly support obligation, the court may issue an order directing the Department of Transportation to prohibit the issuance or renewal of a license, or suspend the license, of the obligor or other individual.

3. What is the Federal Tax Refund Offset Program?
The Federal Tax Refund Offset Program (FTROP) allows states to intercept individual or joint Internal Revenue Service tax refund payments to parents who owe overdue arrears as a result of receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or Cash Assistance is $150 or more; or, the amount of overdue child support arrears is $500 or more.
A spouse who files a joint tax return with an individual qualifying for FTROP may file an injured spouse return to have the portion of the refund attributable to the spouse returned.
4. How long is a jointly–filed offset held?
  • Ninety days if an injured spouse claim has already been processed on the joint tax intercept at the time of the offset; and,
  • Six months if injured spouse information is not available at the time of offset.
5. What is the Passport Denial Program?
The federal Passport Denial Program provides for the denial or cancellation of United States passports for failure to pay child support. A passport may be denied or revoked when combined arrears in all cases exceed $2,500. An individual that becomes eligible for Passport Denial remains eligible until the overdue support balance is reduced to zero.
6. What is the Credit Bureau Reporting Program?

Pennsylvania law requires county Domestic Relations Sections (DRSs) to report to Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies whenever the noncustodial parent owes normal arrears equal to or greater than two months of the support obligation. Even if current support payments are being made, the amount of arrears will be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies. The noncustodial parent may contest the accuracy of the information by contacting the DRS.

7. What is a property lien?
The existence of an overdue support obligation creates a lien on any and all real property owned by the noncustodial parent in Pennsylvania. Lien information regarding overdue support obligations is available to the general public by contacting the county Domestic Relations Section.
8. What is the Financial Institution Data Match Program?
The Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM) Program identifies bank accounts held by noncustodial parents who owe overdue child support. Once identified, these accounts may be subject to "freezing" and "seizing" by the county Domestic Relations Section.
9. Can a Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM) freeze and seize be contested?
The noncustodial parent will have 30 days after the notice was issued to pay the amount of the overdue support in full or contest the notice. The noncustodial parent may contest the notice only on three grounds: First, if no overdue support exists, or there is a mistake in the amount of overdue support. Second, if there is a mistake in the identity of the obligor. Third, if the account is not subject to freeze. An example of this is when an asset is held in an escrow or trust account in the name of the obligor.
10. What is the State Tax Refund Offset Program?
The Pennsylvania State Tax Refund Offset Program (STROP) requires Domestic Relations Sections to intercept state tax refund payments to obligors up to the amount of past due child support owed. An obligor is eligible for STROP intercept if total normal arrears excluding current support are equal to or greater than $150. An individual that becomes eligible for STROP remains eligible until the overdue support balance is reduced to zero.
11. What is the Recreational License Suspension Program?
If no active income withholding order is in place and total arrears are equal to or greater than three months accrued support, or the obligor has failed to comply with subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity or child support proceedings or a visitation or partial custody order, the court may issue an order directing the Pennsylvania Game Commission and/or the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission to prohibit the issuance or renewal of a license, or suspend the license, of the obligor or other individual.
12. What is the Lottery Intercept Program?
When a noncustodial parent with child support arrears wins over $2,500 in the Pennsylvania Lottery, the Lottery winnings may be intercepted to satisfy child support arrears.
The Noncustodial Parent Is Living In Another State
1. Who will handle my case in the other state?
The establishment of a paternity, child support order, or the enforcement of a child support order, will be handled by the Child Support Enforcement Agency in the noncustodial parent's state of residence. The Pennsylvania Domestic Relations Section in the county of residence of the custodial parent will serve as the custodial parent's point of contact for information pertaining to the case.
2. How is a child support order established in another state?
The Domestic Relations Section in the county of residence of the custodial parent will ask the noncustodial parent's resident state to establish a child support order in accordance with that state’s laws, policies, and procedures.
3. What happens if a child support obligation is not paid by the noncustodial parent living in another state?
The Child Support Enforcement Agency in the noncustodial parent's resident state will use the enforcement methods available in that states' child support laws, many of which are similar to Pennsylvania law such as Passport Denial Program, Driver’s License Suspension, and Credit Bureau Reporting to name a few. However, submission of the case to the Federal Tax Refund Offset Program would be handled by the Domestic Relations Section in the Pennsylvania county where the custodial parent resides. The custodial parent should notify the Domestic Relations Section when the support order is not being paid.
State Collection and Disbursement Unit (SCDU)
1. What is the Pennsylvania State Collection and Disbursement Unit (PA-SCDU)?
PA-SCDU collects and disburses all support payments. PA-SCDU is required to disburse support payments within 48 hours of receipt.
2. What should I do with the payment coupons I receive?
  • Fill out the coupon with the amount of money you are paying.
  • Write your PACSES member number, which is found on the court order, or your Social Security number (SSN) on the check or money order to ensure that the payment is credited to the correct account.

3. When will I receive my payment coupons?
You will receive a payment coupon around the third week of each month for the next month’s payment(s).

4. If I lose my coupons OR I need some extra coupons, how can I get them?
If you need additional payment coupons, click here and you will be directed to a printable blank coupon. If you do not have a payment coupon and are unable to print one, write your PACSES member number, which is found on the court order, or your Social Security number (SSN) on the check or money order to ensure that the payment is credited to the correct account. If you require additional assistance, contact your DRS.
5. How can I make payments by phones?
Pay by Checking Account Debit
  • Payment(s) made by checking or savings account debit can be made at www.ExpertPay.com . There is no charge for payments sent to the Pennsylvania State Collection and Disbursement Unit (PA-SCDU). Please allow seven (7) days for the payment to be received by the PA-SCDU.
Pay by Credit Card
  • Payment using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover credit card can be made online at www.e-ChildsPay.com or by calling 1-800-955-2305.
    Note: A convenience fee is charged for all payments made using this method.

6. Can I set up automatic monthly payments from my bank account?
If you have a checking or savings account and would like to establish a regular, recurring withdrawal from that account to pay your support payment, you would need to establish an account with ExpertPay. There is no charge for payments sent to the Pennsylvania State Collection and Disbursement Unit (PA-SCDU). Once the account is established, please allow seven (7) days for the payment to be received by the PA-SCDU.
7. How can I make payments online?
Pay by Checking Account Debit
  • Payment(s) made by checking or savings account debit can be made at www.ExpertPay.com. There is no charge for payments sent to the Pennsylvania State Collection and Disbursement Unit. Please allow seven (7) days for the payment to be received by the Pennsylvania State Collection and Disbursement Unit.
Pay by Credit Card
  • Payment(s) using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover credit card can be made at www.e-ChildsPay.com.
    Note: A convenience fee is charged for all payments made on this site.

8. Can I set up an EFT (direct deposit) account to automatically receive payments?
  • You can set up an EFT account by contacting the Pennsylvania State Collections and Disbursement Unit (PA-SCDU) Customer Service Unit at 1-877-727-7238
  • You must have your own checking or savings account to set up an EFT account.
  • You can obtain a form using the Full version of the Child Support Website, but a printer is required.
  • Please take the EFT form to your bank and have them complete Section 2 of the direct deposit form.
9. Where can I cash my checks without incurring a fee?
A bank where you have a personal account may cash your check without charging a fee.
10. How long after the payor sends in the payment will my check be mailed?
The mandated timeframe from receipt of payment at the Pennsylvania State Collections and Disbursement Unit to disbursement is 48 hours.
11. I have not received my support payment. What should I do?
Call the Pennsylvania State Collections and Disbursement Unit (PA-SCDU) at 1-877-727-7238 and ask them if the payment has been issued. The defendant may not have made his/her payment. PAYMENT OPTIONS
12. I have not received my support payment and the Pennsylvania State Collections and Disbursement Unit (PA-SCDU) has sent it. What should I do?
  • Call PA-SCDU at 1-877-727-7238 and ask if the payment was issued.
  • The check may have been lost in the mail – PA-SCDU will verify that the check has not been cashed, stop payment on the check, and reissue the check to the plaintiff. PA-SCDU will wait 15 days after the first check was sent before they will void and reissue the check.
  • The check may have been stolen - If a stolen check has not been cashed, PA-SCDU will void and reissue the check. If a stolen check had been cashed, however, PA-SCDU will send the plaintiff a copy of the cashed check and then it is the plaintiff's responsibility to follow up and retrieve the money.
Distribution and Disbursement of Child Support Collections
1. When a payment is received, how is the money paid towards support, arrears, and fees?
In accordance with Pennsylvania rules of court and federal law, the payment is first applied to all Title IV-D child/family current support, child/family-related support obligations, and amounts ordered on arrears (OOA). If the payment amount is more than the current month’s obligation(s) for child/family support, current spousal-only support, alimony pendente lite-only, and alimony-only are paid. Spousal/alimony pendente lite/alimony-only arrears (including OOA) are paid after all child/family arrears are paid in full. The obligor’s fees are paid last.
2. What if the amount of my income-withholding payment isn’t enough to cover all the current child support obligations owed for the month?
The income-withholding payment amount is prorated so that each child support obligation receives a share of the payment, based on the current child support order amounts.
3. In what order is my payment applied to both my child support order and my spousal support order?
Support payments received will first be applied to child/family current support, child/family-related support obligations, and amounts ordered on arrears (OOA). If the payment amount is more than the current month’s obligation(s) for child/family, current spousal-only support, alimony pendente lite-only support, and alimony-only support are paid. Spousal/alimony pendente lite/alimony-only arrears (including OOA) are paid after all child/family arrears are paid in full. The obligor’s fees are paid last.
4. If I am a custodial parent with a support action initiated in another State, why am I unable to view payments made to my case?
We do not report payments to other courts on our website because we do not know how the other state will distribute and ultimately disburse funds to the custodial parent. Distribution is based on federal law. Please check with the other state for payment information.
5. How will I receive my child support payments?

Pennsylvania EPPICard™.
Your support payments are automatically loaded onto the Pennsylvania EPPICard™.
There are no charges incurred for a cash withdrawal from a teller at any financial institution that displays the MasterCard brand mark. If you withdraw funds from a MoneyPass network ATM your first transaction will be fee free for PA EPPICard cardholders. MoneyPass ATMs are located inside convenience stores such as Sheetz, Rutters, and WAWA. The one free ATM transaction for PA EPPICard cardholders must occur at a MoneyPass network ATM. After using the one free transaction EPPICard users must pay surcharges based on the institutional fee structure for the ATM accessed. There is an ATM fee for balance inquires. Please view the full version of the Child Support Website for additional details or to learn more about EPPICard™ visit their site at EPPICard.com!

Direct Deposit
You can set up an EFT (direct deposit) account by contacting the Pennsylvania State Collections and Disbursement Unit (PA-SCDU) Customer Service Unit at 1-877-727-7238.

You must have your own checking or savings account to set up an EFT account.

Section 2 of your EFT form must be completed and signed by your bank before returning it to PA-SCDU. Also, write out or crossed through information will void your form.
Pennsylvania EPPICARD™ Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where do I call if I have questions about my Pennsylvania EPPICard™?

1-800-304-1669 is the number to call for anything related to your Pennsylvania EPPICard™. Keep this number someplace important. It is also printed on the back of your Pennsylvania EPPICard™. If you are calling from a location outside of the U.S. please call collect 1-801-933-8542.

2. How do I activate my Pennsylvania EPPICard™?

Simply call the EPPICard™ Customer Service line at 1-800-304-1669 to activate the card. This phone number is on the back of your new card. You will be asked to choose a PIN to activate your card. After this phone call is completed your card will be ready to use to make purchases or to withdraw cash.

3. When do I call 1-800-304-1669?

Anytime you need any information about your Pennsylvania EPPICard™. This number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call Customer Service if you need to:
• Report lost or stolen cards
• Check your balance
• Change your PIN
• Review transaction history
• Register a complaint about a card issue
• Ask questions about card use
• Discuss international card use
• Report that your card was not received in the mail

If you have questions regarding anything else about your child support case (such as enforcement, modifying your support order) you must call your local county Domestic Relations Section.

4. Where can I shop or get cash with my Pennsylvania EPPICard™?

Look for the MasterCard® logo. This logo shows that the store accepts your EPPICard™ MasterCard®. To get cash, look for the MasterCard® logo, which will be displayed on over 892,000 ATMs located throughout the world. Many retailers that accept Maestro, in addition to grocery stores, will let you get cash back with purchases. Certain businesses place a hold on your available funds until your transaction clears. This can take one or two days for the funds to be released. Hotels and car rental agencies do this because when you use your card with them the transaction may not be finalized by you until days later.

5. Do I have to use the ATM to get cash at a bank displaying the MasterCard® logo?

No, you do not have to use the ATM. You can get cash back at any bank displaying the MasterCard® logo. Go to the teller and ask for the desired amount of cash that is available to you. You will not be charged a fee to get cash from the teller. Do not ask for a cash advance.

6. Where can I find a bank that accepts/displays the MasterCard® logo?

Information on bank and ATM locations is available at www.mastercard.com/atmlocator

7. Who should I contact if I have a problem getting cash from a teller at a MasterCard® bank?

1-800-304-1669 is the number to call for anything related to your Pennsylvania EPPICard™. You will need to provide the name of the bank, and the branch office where the problem occurred. During regular business hours, Monday through Friday you can also contact the Pennsylvania State Collections and Disbursement Unit Customer Service at 1-877-727-7238.

8. Do I have to get a Pennsylvania EPPICard™?

If you decide you do not want a card, you may have your funds direct deposited into a personal bank account. You can set up an EFT (direct deposit) account by contacting the Pennsylvania State Collections and Disbursement Unit Customer Service Unit at 1-877-727-7238.

9. Will I automatically receive a Pennsylvania EPPICard™?

You will be automatically sent a Pennsylvania EPPICard™ if you do not sign up for direct deposit.

10. Can I use my Pennsylvania EPPICard™ as a bank account?

No, you cannot make your own deposits into your EPPICard™ MasterCard® account.

11. How will I know how much money is in my Pennsylvania EPPICard™ account?

You can call EPPICard™ customer service at 1-800-304-1669 to check your balance. You may check your balance online at www.EPPICard.com. You may also use an ATM to perform a balance inquiry. There is a fee for balance inquires. There may also be a surcharge fee if the inquiry is not performed at a Wells Fargo or PNC bank ATM.

12. Will I get a monthly statement showing what I spent?

A monthly statement will not be automatically sent to you. For a fee, you can request a paper statement by calling EPPICard™ customer service at 1-800-304-1669. You can also access information regarding your Pennsylvania EPPICard™ free of charge at www.EPPICard.com.

13. Do I need a bank account to use my Pennsylvania EPPICard™?

No. You do not have to have a bank account, and no credit check will be performed.

14. Are there any charges for using my Pennsylvania EPPICard™?

If you ask for cash withdrawal from a teller at any financial institution that displays the MasterCard® brand mark you should not be charged a fee.
Once a month you are entitled to one free ATM transaction at a MoneyPass network ATM.
Cardholders are permitted six (6) free calls per month. A cost of $0.25 is assessed for each call after six (6) calls in a month to the EPPICard Integrated Voice Response or a live operator.
EPPICard™ information is also available to cardholders via the EPPICard™ website (www.eppicard.com).

15. What is a PIN?

PIN means Personal Identification Number. Your PIN is a 4-digit number. Always keep your PIN private. You must select a PIN to activate the EPPICard™ when you receive your card in the mail. If you lose your card and get a replacement card, you must activate the replacement card and you will need to select a PIN again. You may select your original PIN. For additional protection sign the back of your card in ink or put a note on the card to always ask for photo ID.

16. What if I forget my secret code or PIN?

If you cannot remember your PIN, call customer service at 1-800-304-1669 and select a new PIN.

17. What happens if I enter the wrong PIN number?

You have a total of four tries to enter the correct PIN. After four consecutive incorrect attempts, the machine displays a “locked” message. The card is locked until midnight. If you remember your PIN, you may simply use your card the next day. If you do not remember your PIN, you can call customer service at 1-800-304-1669 and select a new PIN.

18. What should I do if I lose my Pennsylvania EPPICard™?

Call 1-800-304-1669 when you realize that your card is missing. This puts a hold on your account and no one will be able to use the card. If you find your card after you report it to customer service, you will not be able to use the original card. You must wait for the replacement to arrive in the mail. Your first replacement will be issued at no charge. However, each time after the first time that you request a replacement card you will be charged a fee.

19. What if my card will not work?

Broken, cracked or damaged cards need to be replaced. Call 1-800-304-1669 and report that you have a problem with your Pennsylvania EPPICard™. A replacement card will be sent directly to your mailing address.

20. What if I get an error message that reads Insufficient Funds?

Insufficient Funds means you have tried to spend more than you have on your Pennsylvania EPPICard™. If you feel this error message is incorrect, call 1-800-304-1669 for assistance.

21. What do I do if I think the balance of my Pennsylvania EPPICard™ is incorrect?

You should call customer service at 1-800-304-1669 if you have any questions regarding the balance of your account, or any transactions associated with your account.

22. Do I need to change the name on my card if I get married?

You need to contact your local Domestic Relations Section (DRS) if you are receiving child support and your name has changed. The DRS will update the statewide child support system with your new name. If you wish to have an EPPICard with your new name, you will need to call EPPICard at 1-800-304-1669 after you have contacted your DRS.

23. Will my card still work when my child support case closes?

Your card will work until the balance on the card is $0.00.

24. How do I switch to direct deposit?

Contact the Pennsylvania State Collections and Disbursement Unit at 1-877-727-7238.

25. I received the Pennsylvania EPPICard™ but I want my support money deposited to my bank account. What should I do with the card?

If you received the Pennsylvania EPPICard™, support payments received will be deposited to the card until your direct deposit enrollment process is completed. Please keep the card, activate your PIN as directed on the card and check your card balance. Once the Pennsylvania State Collections and Disbursement Unit receives your correctly completed direct deposit enrollment form, direct deposit should begin in about 10 business days. Do not dispose of your EPPICard™. If, at any time, you cancel or stop direct deposit, your support payments will again be disbursed to your EPPICard™.

26. I think I got some mailers, but since I wanted to continue receiving checks, I threw the mailers (and the EPPICard™) away. Now I'm not getting my support checks any longer. What should I do?

If you did not sign up for Direct Deposit, and you are no longer receiving support checks, it is possible that you have support money on your PA EPPICard™. You may access www.childsupport.state.pa.us to see if support payments have been made for you, and if the support payments have been disbursed to EPPICard™. If support payments have been disbursed for you to the EPPICard™, you must call the EPPICard™ 800 number and request a replacement card.

General Subjects
1. What programs are available for noncustodial fathers and mothers?
The Child Support Program administers the federal Access and Visitation (A&V) Grant to provide services to noncustodial fathers and mothers. The grant program was created under federal law "to enable States to establish and administer programs to support and facilitate noncustodial parents' access to and visitation of their children". In Pennsylvania, A&V programs are operated by local agencies in several counties. Program activities include, but are not limited to: mediation (both voluntary and mandatory), counseling, education, development of parenting plans, visitation enforcement (including monitoring, supervision, and neutral drop-off and pickup), and development of guidelines for visitation and alternative custody arrangements. To find out if access and visitation services are available in your county, contact your local Domestic Relations Section.
2. What other programs are available that are aimed at strengthening families?
Pennsylvania's Family Centers are based on the philosophy that the most effective way to ensure the healthy growth and development of children is to support families and the communities in which they live. Though uniquely designed to meet local needs, each of the Family Centers is built upon common principles.
  • The family is the center of a child's life.
  • Family support is essential to healthy child development.
  • Families are unique, and parents know their children best.
  • Services are directed to the whole family and are community-based.
  • Needs of children and families must be addressed quickly, and services must be convenient and accessible.
  • Primary health care and parents' knowledge of child development are essential to a child's ability to learn and succeed.
  • Services and supports must be inclusive in ways that are respectful of individual differences.
  • Family Centers were first implemented in 1992. Since that time, in the communities in which they are located, Family Centers have been integral in providing community services to help families become healthy, well-educated and self-sufficient. Currently, there are 55 state-contracted Family Centers located in 29 counties. Other Family Centers exist throughout the state and are supported through a variety of funds.
    While each of the 55 Family Centers and the fatherhood initiatives contained within them reflects its community's unique strengths, needs and priorities, all are charged to meet five key goals, which are to:
  • Encourage economic self-sufficiency for families through adult education, training and employment;
  • Assure healthy development and health care services for children;
  • Promote positive child development through effective parenting, early intervention, and outreach activities;
  • Support and preserve the family unit as the foundation for success for children; and
  • Provide a seamless, comprehensive, and easily accessed network of services for children.
Note: For more information about Family Centers go to www.dpw.state.pa.us/findfacilsandlocs/preventiveservicesfamilycenters/index.htm

3. Are there any groups that assist noncustodial parents with understanding their legal rights?
There are numerous organizations found on the Internet, both profit and non-profit, for noncustodial fathers and mothers and they may be able to help. You may also find information at your local public library or in your local telephone book.
4. What if my address changes?
Addresses can be updated online or reported to the county Domestic Relations Section that manages your child support case.
5. What if I change jobs?
Changes in employment can be updated online or reported to the county Domestic Relations Section that manages your child support case.
6. How does the Domestic Relations Section locate a noncustodial parent?
The Domestic Relations Section (DRS) will submit the noncustodial parent's name, and other identifying information to the State Parent Locate System, and the Federal Parent Locate System. These two systems will check various computer databases used by Federal and State agencies for a match. The information is then reported back to the DRS. However the best source of information is often the parties to the support action who should report relevant information that may assist the DRS in obtaining location and employment information.
7. What can I do if I disagree with a custody or visitation order?
Issues involving custody are resolved solely by the Pennsylvania courts. The appeal process represents the proper forum to present arguments of why you believe the court may have acted improperly in making a determination in your case.
8. What happens if the noncustodial parent is in the U.S. Armed Services?
The same methods for establishment and enforcement of child support orders that apply to civilians also apply to military personnel. The process may, however, take longer to complete.
9. Who do I contact for information on my child support case?
The Domestic Relations Section (DRS) that manages your child support case is the best source of information on your case. The DRS will maintain contact with out-of-state child support agencies if your case involves an out-of-state noncustodial parent, and can provide information regarding the status or progress of your case. You may also call the Pennsylvania Child Support Helpline at 1-800-932-0211 and a child support enforcement specialist will assist you or visit the Pennsylvania Child Support Website at www.childsupport.state.pa.us.
10. I have concerns with the quality of service being given to me by the Domestic Relations Section. Who can I contact?
You may write to the Director of the Domestic Relations Section that manages your child support case to present concerns regarding office staff, office practices, and/or the quality of service provided.
11. What if my child support order is part of my divorce decree?
Child support orders that are issued with a divorce decree are handled differently county by county. If your child support order was issued with a divorce decree, the best thing to do is to consult your local Domestic Relations Section to find out how they handle those orders.
12. What is the Earned Income Tax Credit?
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), sometimes called the Earned Income Credit (EIC), is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. For more information on the Internal Revenue Service Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Program, please contact 1-800-829-1040 or visit www.irs.gov/eitc.
13. I am a defendant and I overpaid on my support case. Can I get my money back?
Contact your county Domestic Relations Section to discuss your case and determine your next steps.
14. I am a plaintiff and I received a large support payment a few months ago. The payment was several times the monthly support amount that I usually receive. I have not received any support since that time. Is there a problem with my case?
Your support case may have a credit balance, which means that the defendant may have overpaid. Contact your county Domestic Relations Section to discuss your case.
15. How does the Pennsylvania Child Support Enforcement system (PACSES) receive employment information for a defendant?
PACSES obtains employment information several different ways:
1. The primary method of receiving employment information is through the State New Hire information exchange with PACSES.
2. The Department of Labor & Industry as well as the Federal Case Registry also provides PACSES with employment information.
3. The Work Number/TALX/Equifax provides PACSES with employment information.
4. Clients may also update their employment information online.
$25 Fee
1. What is the $25 annual fee?
The United States Congress enacted a law which requires that a $25 annual fee be collected each year when at least $500 in child support payments is collected annually and the custodial parent has never received cash assistance. The yearly fee is collected to cover some of the federal government’s costs of providing child support enforcement services.
2. Who pays the fee?
In Pennsylvania, the Department of Human Services will:
  • Pay the fee for families with child support collections in a year between $500 and $1,999.99, or
  • Deduct the fee from the custodial parent after $2,000 of child support is collected in a year from the noncustodial parent.
3. Must I send a check?
Do not send a check. The $25 fee will be taken from the first child support collection after you have received $2,000 of child support in the year.

For example: If $2,000 is collected by April 1, and a $100 payment is made April 20, the $25 annual fee will be deducted from that payment.
4. What if my support case does not include child support?
The $25 annual fee will not be collected in cases that do not include an order for child support, such as:
  • Spousal-only support cases.
  • Alimony-only support cases.
  • Alimony Pendente Lite (APL)-only support cases.
5. What if my support case includes both child support and spousal/alimony, or alimony pendenté lite (APL) support?
If you receive both child support and spousal/alimony, or alimony pendenté lite (APL) support on the same support case from the same defendant, the $25 annual fee will be collected from that support case if $2,000 is collected.
6. What if I have a child support case and a separate spousal, alimony, or alimony pendenté lite (APL) support case?
If you receive child support in one case and only spousal, alimony, or alimony pendente lite (APL) support in a separate case:
  • The $25 annual fee will be collected only in the child support case.
  • The $25 annual fee will not be collected in the spousal, alimony, or APL-only case.
7. What if my support case is closed?
If your support case is closed, no fee will be collected.
8. How often must I pay the fee?
As required by federal law, the fee must be assessed once each federal fiscal year (FFY), which runs from October 1 to September 30. The fee will be collected once a year between October 1 to November 30 or March 1 to September 30. In Pennsylvania, the fee is not collected in the months of December, January, and February.
9. What if I have more than one child support case in Pennsylvania?
The fee is assessed yearly for each child support case you have when $2,000 or more is collected in a case.
10. What if I begin receiving cash assistance benefits after the fee has been deducted?
The fee will never be collected from you again in Pennsylvania.
11. What if I have a child support case that opened in another state?
Please contact that state about how the $25 fee is collected.
12. What if I received cash assistance before in Pennsylvania or another state, but the $25 fee is collected?
If you received cash assistance before in Pennsylvania or another state, and the $25 fee is collected from you, please contact your local Domestic Relations Section (DRS) to request a review of your support case to determine if you should receive a refund. You will need to provide proof to the DRS that cash assistance was received before in Pennsylvania or in another state.
13. What if I have a support case without a child but the $25 fee is collected?
If you receive only spousal, alimony, or alimony pendente lite (APL) support, and the $25 fee is collected from you, please contact your local Domestic Relations Section to request a review of your support case to determine if you should receive a refund.
14. What if my support case was opened in another state, but the $25 fee is collected by Pennsylvania?
If your support case was opened in another state, and the $25 fee is collected from you by Pennsylvania, please contact your local Domestic Relations Section to request a review of your support case to determine if you should receive a refund.
15. Who can I contact with questions about the $25 fee in Pennsylvania?
Please contact the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement’s helpline at 1-800-932-0211, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Medical Coverage
1. Which parent is responsible for providing health care coverage?
The parent with the ability to provide medical support for the parties’ children and the medical support that is most accessible to the child(ren) as defined by geographic coverage area, access to local treatment providers or other relevant factors will determine which parent will be responsible to provide the health care coverage for the child(ren).
2. Who is responsible for paying for health insurance premiums when a third party resident provides the coverage for the children?
If health insurance coverage for a child who is the subject of the support proceeding is being provided and paid for by a third party resident of the household, the cost shall be allocated between the parties in proportion to their net incomes.
3. Who is the third party resident?
A person other than the parents of the child(ren) such as the parent’s spouse or the child(ren)’s grandparent who has enrolled the child(ren) in their health care plan.
4. What is reasonable cost?
The noncustodial parent is responsible for providing health care coverage for the children if available at a reasonable cost. “Reasonable cost” to an obligor is defined as an amount that does not exceed 5% of the obligor’s net monthly income and, when added to the amount of basic child support plus additional expenses the obligor is ordered to pay, does not exceed 50% of the obligor’s net monthly income.
5. When should the National Medical Support Notice be issued?
The National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) shall be issued to the obligor’s employer if health care coverage for the children isn’t provided by the obligee or a third party.
6. When should the employer enroll the children?
If coverage is available at a reasonable cost, as defined in question #4, to the obligor, the employer shall enroll the children in the health plan no earlier than 25 days from the issuance date of the National Medical Support Notice.
7. Can an obligor object to the employer enrolling the children in the health care plan?
Yes, an obligor can object to the enrollment based upon unreasonable cost, mistake of fact or availability of alternative health care coverage for the children. The obligor has 10 business days to respond to the DRS with an objection.
8. What happens if health care coverage is unavailable to the obligor?
If health care coverage is unavailable to the obligor for the parties’ children at a reasonable cost, the court shall order the obligee to provide health care coverage for the children if it is available at a reasonable cost, not to exceed 5% of the obligee’s net monthly income.
9. What happens if health care coverage is unavailable to either party?
If health care coverage is unavailable to either party at a reasonable cost, the court may order the custodial parent to apply for government-sponsored coverage, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Parties will share any co-premium or costs proportionately to their net monthly incomes.
Support Pass Through (SPT)
1. What is Support Pass Through (SPT)?
When a custodial parent’s family is authorized to receive cash assistance from the State, current support payments are assigned to the Department of Human Services. If current support is paid in a month, DHS will send a SPT payment to the custodial parent. Payments made on support arrears are not eligible for SPT payments.
2. How much will my Support Pass Through (SPT) payment be?
This amount is based on the amount of current support paid in the prior month and on the number of children on the cash assistance grant.
Children Maximum SPT
0 $50
1 $100
2+ $200

A family on cash assistance can receive up to the maximum SPT payment or the court-ordered amount for any given month, whichever is less. This applies regardless of how many noncustodial parents (NCP’s) pay support for the children in a cash grant group in that month.
3. What if I have two support cases, but only one noncustodial parent (NCP) is making payments?
The Support Pass Through (SPT) payment is based on the total of all current support paid in a calendar month and the total number of children on the cash assistance grant. Which NCP makes the payment is not a factor when determining SPT. The plaintiff on cash assistance will receive the maximum SPT as outlined above, or the court-ordered amount, whichever is less.
4. What do I do if I don’t think the amount of my Support Pass Through (SPT) is correct?
A Monthly Support Notice (MSN) is issued to current and former cash assistance recipients when child support payments are paid to the Department on assigned support. The MSN offers an opportunity to appeal the SPT payment.
5. My cash assistance closed, but I still receive the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Will I get a Support Pass Through (SPT) payment?
No, SPT payments are sent only to plaintiffs who are currently on cash assistance. SNAP eligibility does not affect SPT payments. However, because an SPT payment is made in the month following the month the current support payment(s) were made, it is possible that when a cash grant is closed in a given month, you may still receive the SPT payment the following month when only SNAP and/or medical assistance are opened. For example, cash closed on 9/28/14, while SNAP and medical remain opened. If any noncustodial parent’s made payment(s) on or before 9/28/14, then the former cash recipient will get an SPT in October 2014, regardless of SNAP and/or medical eligibility.
Support Order Modification
1. What does it mean to modify my support order?
This means you can ask the court to change the amount of support paid each month.
2. When should I ask the court to modify my support order?
You should ask to modify when a change occurs in:
  • Income for either party, such as a new job, a loss of a job, a promotion, downgrade, fewer work hours/earnings or a raise
  • Child care expenses
  • Medical coverage
  • Custody
  • Age of child, if your child will soon be age 18 and a high school graduate
  • The person receiving support is no longer living or moved to a different house under care of a different person
  • Incarceration
3. How do I modify my support order?
Step 1: Contact the DRS to obtain a Petition for Modification, or log into this web site as a payee or payor and submit a Petition for Modification through E-Services.
Step 2: If you are submitting the paper version of the Petition for Modification, complete, sign, and return the petition for modification to your county DRS.
Step 3: You will receive notice from the DRS with the date, time, and place you are scheduled to attend a DRS office conference to talk about the request for modification. The notice lists information that you must bring to the conference.
Step 4: Attend the DRS office conference to see if your order can be modified.
Step 5: The DRS will determine if your support order may be changed.

4. What if I do not agree on the new amount of support?
  • If either party does not agree with the modified amount of support, the Domestic Relations Section (DRS) will enter a recommended support order.
  • If a party does not agree with the recommended support order, they are provided 20 days to request a hearing.
  • A demand for hearing must be filed with the county Domestic Relations Section that issued the support order.
Military Service Members
1. What must I do before I deploy or join active duty military service?
Contact the Domestic Relations Section (DRS) that handles your support case(s) to:
  • Inform that you will be deployed or are joining the military, and how long is your military commitment;
  • Provide changes in your address, wages, and healthcare coverage for your children;
  • Request a review of your support case(s) for possible modification of your support order(s); and/or
  • Provide information about a relative or trusted friend who is caring for your child(ren) or assisting with your support case(s) in your absence.

2. What must I do after I return from deployment or am discharged from military service?
Contact the Domestic Relations Section (DRS) that handles your support case to:
  • Inform that you have returned or have been discharged;
  • Provide changes in your address, wages, and healthcare coverage for your children; and/or
  • Request a review of your support case(s) for possible modification of your support order(s).
3. What should I do if my salary changes when I am deployed and/or I do not have a job when I return?
Contact the Domestic Relations Section that handles your child support case to request a review for possible modification of your support order. See (M) Support Order Modification for more information.
4. How do I establish paternity for my child?
Both parents may complete a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity form, if the mother was not married to anyone at the child’s birth or you may Contact your local Domestic Relations Section to establish paternity or you may request paternity establishment through the Child Support Website.
See (A) Paternity for more information.
5. How do I make my child support payments when deployed or on active duty?
As the military is now your employer, the Domestic Relations Section will issue an income-withholding order to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) to withhold income from your paycheck each month to satisfy your child support obligation(s). Your monthly child support obligation is based on the pay you receive, to include but not be limited to basic pay, hazardous duty pay, pensions, retirement, Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS), and Family Separation Allowances. See (C) Income-Withholding Orders for more information.
6. Where can I find information about my rights when I am deployed or on active duty?
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) of 2003 is a Federal law that provides information about important rights for military members, including child support.
See http://legalassistance.law.af.mil/ for more information.
7. How do I contact the Domestic Relations Section (DRS) that handles my support case?
Click here to select your county from a drop down box. Then click “Locate Office” to view address and telephone information for your DRS.
Assignment of Support Rights
1. What does “assignment of support rights” mean?
“Assignment of support rights” means that when you receive cash assistance, current support collected for you is kept by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS). Federal and State law require the assignment of your support rights. The amount of your support including arrears (unpaid back support), that may be kept by DHS may not exceed the total amount of cash assistance you receive.

E-Services
1. What is E-Services?
E-Services enables you or your attorney to submit important court documents to your county Domestic Relations Section, including the Application for Child or Spousal Support Services, Complaint for Support, and Petition for Modification.
2. Who can use E-Services to submit documents?
E-Services document submission is available to anyone seeking child or spousal support services, including new support actions, modifications to existing support actions, and recovery of overpayments. If you are unsure whether you have a support case, contact your county Domestic Relations Section or the Child Support Helpline at 1-800-932-0211.
3. How do I access E-Services?
To begin a new E-Services request or to access a saved request, select the “Request Support Services” button on the Child Support Website homepage. Or, you can access E-Services through the “Begin or Resume a Request for Support Services” link under the “I Would Like To…” section of the Child Support Website homepage. Selecting the button or the link will prompt you to login to an existing account or create a new account.
4. What information will I need to complete to submit court documents online?
You will need to provide basic information (date of birth, Social Security number, etc.) for yourself, the person you are filing for support against, and the children you have together. Additionally, any information you can provide regarding income for parties, insurance, custody, paternity, and any prior support orders will be helpful in processing your support request. If you are submitting a Petition for Modification, you will need to explain the change in circumstances prompting your request for a change in your support order.
5. How long will it take to submit documents online?
The online document submission should take 30 minutes or less to complete.
6. What happens after I’ve submitted the documents?
Submitted documents are sent electronically to your county Domestic Relations Section. Information about the next steps in the process will be provided after the documents are submitted.
Child Support Estimator
1. What is the Child Support Estimator?
The Child Support Estimator enables you to get an estimate of your monthly child support amount based upon the gross income, taxes and expenses of the custodial and noncustodial parents. The estimate indicates how much support you might receive or pay. The Domestic Relations Section will establish the actual monthly support amount based upon the Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines.
2. Who can use the Child Support Estimator?
Anyone who would like to estimate their potential monthly child support amount may use the Child Support Estimator. The estimator does not provide estimates for spousal support and alimony.
3. How do I access the Child Support Estimator?
The Child Support Estimator is available through the “Estimate My Child Support Amount” link under the “I Would Like To…” section of the Child Support Website. Mobile users can access the Child Support Estimator through the Self-Service feature.
4. What information will I need to estimate my child support amount?
To complete an estimate, you need to know the number of children for whom you want to receive child support, the gross income for both the custodial and the noncustodial parents, and the local and state tax rate. The estimator will return more accurate results if you can also provide the monthly amount paid for child care, the amount of any alimony or spousal support received, the amount of any monthly health insurance premiums for the children, and the monthly amount of any union dues or non-voluntary retirement paid by the custodial and noncustodial parents.