How To Apply For Pennsylvania Child Support
This page provides a general guideline on how to apply for Pennsylvania child support. The first step is getting a court order, it's important to get a court order as soon as the baby is born, especially if the parents are not married. If the parents are legally seperated or divorced then a court order is also needed. Pennsylvania child support usually starts on the date the court order was filed and it is not retroactive. So it is very important to begin the process as soon as possible.
You can obtain a court order through the Pennsylvania child support office, when doing so you have the option to have the agency represent you, obtain a lawyer, or just represent yourself. It is usually the best option to select an attorney to represent you as they do not have an emotional attachment and know the law. Once you have been approved for child support, the next step is to collect Pennsylvania child support payments.
What's involved when applying for Pennsylvania child support?
If you are a single mom and were not married to your child's father then you first need to contact the local Office of Child Support Enforcement, OCSE, so they can help establish paternity. In some circumstances this could require tracking down the other parent in order to perform a genetic test.
What If I Do Not Know Where The Other Parent Is?
You will be asked to provide information of the most recent address of the other parent you are looking for by the Child Support Enforcement Office. The information provided will be utilized by the Federal Parent Locator Service, which is part of the OCSE, by the National Directory of New Hires, State Directories of New Hires and State Employment Security Agencies to assistance in locating the other parent.
Is the Process Long When Applying For Pennsylvania Child Support?
The process for filing for Pennsylvania child support can be a lengthy process due to the amount of agencies this has to go through. You will first be set up with a case worker at the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, they will walk you through the process of establishing paternity, obtaining a legal child support order, and receiving the actual child support.
Could Applying For Pennsylvania Child Support Allow Visitation Rights?
Though this could lead to allowing visitation rights for the other parent, because it acknowledges the other parent as the biological parent, this is considered a different matter in the court system. If the other parent is proven to be the child's biological parent, then the non-custodial parent can exercise his or her right to visitation. This process would require the other parent to petition the court so that visits can be established.
Are There Fees For Filing For The Pennsylvania Child Support Program?
The fee can vary from state to state but in most cases you may be charged up to $25 to apply for child support through the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, however if you currently receive TANF or Medicaid then you will not be charged this filing fee.
If you want to move forward with filing for child support, then contact the Pennsylvania child support agency. They will work with you to establish and enforce a child support order. When you apply for child support you will need to provide documents. Below are a list of documents you may need when filing out your Pennsylvania child support application:
- A valid photo id such as your driver's license
- Proof of residency such as a receipt for rent or a utility bill
- Birth Certificate's for your child or children that you are filing to receive child support for
- Latest location information of the other parent
You may also need to bring the following based on your child support application requirements:
- Paternity Test Results
- Divorce Records
- Social Security Cards for you and your children
- Description of Personal Property
- Wage Information such as recent pay stubs or w-2 forms
- Child support payment history