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Child Support

Children & Family

Child Support

Child Support

NPLS generally does not provide assistance with child support.  If you want to file for child support, contact your local Domestic Relations Office.  If you are being asked to pay support out of SSI only or welfare (cash assistance) income NPLS may be able to help.

You can read more about Child Support in our Family Law Handbook (English) | Family Law Handbook (Spanish).


  • Who can file for child support?

    Child support cases usually involve two parents. But, child support cases may also be filed by an agency or third party caring for the child.

    Any party, including an agency or third party, can file for child support if that party has custody of the child, regardless of whether a court order has been issued granting that person or agency custody of the child.

  • What is child support and when do I have to pay?

    Child support is money that a parent pays to help provide food, clothing, housing, and other essential things for his or her child. Child support may also include the cost to provide health care coverage and payment of medical bills and child care costs.

    Under Pennsylvania law, parents are liable for the financial support of their children 18 years of age or younger, and are required to support their children to the best of their ability.

    Parents may also be liable for the support of their children after the age of 18, for example, if the 18 year old has not yet graduated from high school. Parents are not liable for support of emancipated children 18 years of age or younger. See the section of this book about emancipation.

  • Can I receive public benefits and child support at the same time?

    If you receive public benefits, the child support collected will be paid to the Department of Public Welfare and you will receive what is called a “support pass through.” A support pass through will be paid to you in the month following the month that support was paid.

    This can be complicated - for more information, check out our Family Law Handbook | Ley de Familia or consult a Family Law Attorney.

  • What if I do not know where the other parent lives?

    If you do not know where the child’s non-custodial parent lives, your Domestic Relations section should refer you to the Parent Locator Service. This service uses federal, state and local resources to search for the non-custodial parent. You must give Domestic Relations as much identifying information about the Defendant as you can to assist with the search.

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