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Child support and your child's right to support from both parents

If you've received custody of your child or of a loved one's child as a guardian, it's important that you know how to file for child support. Getting child support isn't about punishing a parent. It's about providing the support and compensation a child needs to live comfortably and with the support of both parents. No one should feel like asking for support is greedy or asking too much of another person; a child is both parents' responsibilities.

Who can file for support in Pennsylvania?

Anyone who is raising a child, whether it's a parent, grandparent, or agency, can request child support from one or both parents of that child. Child support can only be requested up until the time when the child turns 18 or is still attending high school.

Does it matter if a child is born during a marriage?

No. Whether your child was born during the marriage or is a result of relationships outside marriage, you can still request child support for your child. Your child deserves to have support from the second parent, whether or not that parent is present in his or her life.

How can a complaint about support be filed?

One way is to go to the local Domestic Relations Office. The complaint will be filed and prepared there; it doesn't matter if the county is where the plaintiff or defendant lives, as either one will file the case. After it's filed, then a support conference will be scheduled. If it's found that the defendant owes back support, he or she will have to pay that amount.

Source: Neighborhood Legal Services Association, "Support Law in Pennsylvania," accessed March 02, 2016

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