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Pennsylvania Child Support Payments

Child support is based on the principle that parents have an obligation to financially support their children. Generally speaking, child support payments are made by the non-custodial parent to the parent who has primary physical custody of the child. A parent is usually required to make child support payments until the child turns 18 years old, although there are instances when a parent may be required to help pay for college expenses. It's also possible for child support obligations to extend past 18 years old if the child has certain physical or mental disabilities.

In Pennsylvania, child support can be established by the parents making an agreement and having it approved by the court or by completing an Application for Child Support and submitting it to the local Domestic Relations office. The amount of child support that a person (the "obligor") is required to pay to the parent with primary physical custody (the "obligee") is determined by using child support guidelines, which have been created by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania Child Support Payments Laws at a Glance

While there's immense value to reading the actual language of any statute, it can be helpful to also read a plain English summary of the statute to better understand what it means. The following table gives a basic summary of the statute that relates to child support payments in Pennsylvania, as well as links to other relevant statutes.

Statute(s) Pennsylvania Statutes Title 23 Pa.C.S.A. Domestic Relations Section 4325 (Payment of Order of Support)
Procedure for Child Support Payment An order of child support directs the obligor to make payments to the agency in charge of the state's child support program, who then transmits it to the obligee.
The Agency in Charge of the Child Support Program Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, which provides a helpful Child Support Handbook on its website.
How Child Support Payments Can Be Made

Most child support in Pennsylvania is paid via income withholding as ordered by the court. However, if income is not being withheld, child support payments can also be made via:

  • Personal check;
  • Cashier's check;
  • Money order;
  • Bank account debit;
  • Credit/debit car; or
  • MoneyGram.

Payments are made to Pennsylvania State Collection and Disbursement Unit (PA SCDU), who then distribute it to the obligee.

Related Statute(s)

Pennsylvania Statutes Title 23 Pa.C.S.A. Domestic Relations:


Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Pennsylvania Child Support Payments: Related Resources

For more information related to this topic, please visit the links below:

Get Legal Help with Questions About Child Support Payments in Pennsylvania

It's important that child support payments are made in full and on time, as they're essential for a child's well-being. The failure to make child support payments on time can have various negative impacts on your life and the lives of your children. If you have questions about child support payments in Pennsylvania, or you'd like help with the process of requesting or making child support payments, it's a good idea to speak with an experienced child support attorney in Pennsylvania.

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