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Collecting Child Support Arrears

When a Pennsylvania couple with children decides to divorce, it is important to make sure a child is supported, emotionally and financially, by both of his or her parents. As the Lebanon Daily News reports, if one parent has primary custody of the child, the other is expected to provide financial compensation to help cover the costs of raising the child.

In Pennsylvania there are guidelines to help determine the amount of financial support needed, but once this amount has been set, some parents have trouble collecting the child support payments they are owed. Many believe state policies should consider the needs of the non-custodial parent, especially when “their income is $931 or less per month.”

Over 80 percent of child support accounts in Pennsylvania are completely paid. However, even with this accolade, many in the state struggle financially due to child support arrears. For example, the Daily News found that more than $11.4 million in back payments of child support were owed–in Lebanon County alone. Parents who are owed child support payments do have legal options to try to recoup this money, and there are repercussions for the parent who has not paid that can include taking possession of a bank account or putting a lien on a property, or can even result in an arrest.

The Department of Human Services ranked Pennsylvania number one “in the nation in child support enforcement collection, according to federal standards.” This may be due in part to the online system for payment that is available to parents in the state, which has also come out with a mobile site so parents can pay from their phones.

For more information, contact Louis Wm Martini, P.C.