Pennsylvania is Toughest on Child Support Enforcement

Q: What can be done to enforce a child support order?

There is no place safe in Pennsylvania for “deadbeat” dads or moms.

Lancaster County child support attorneys know that the county’s collection rate of 84% matched the state of Pennsylvania’s overall collection rate–which is by far the best in the nation at enforcing child support orders. In comparison, the national average is 65%.

Whether you are on the paying or receiving end of a child support order and are having a problem, a skilled family law attorney can help you.

Sometimes a change in circumstances requires a modification order from the court. If you haven’t been receiving timely and full support payments, enforcement actions may be necessary. So, if you are required to pay support and have fallen behind, you might want to seek an attorney’s advice–preferably before you’re caught up in a county Domestic Relations Section’s “collection sweep” and brought before a judge on a bench warrant for nonpayment.

While the majority of the approximately 17,000 noncustodial parents in Lancaster County with support orders do pay on time, here are some of the enforcement tools the county’s Domestic Relations Section has available to strong-arm the non-compliant:

  • wage garnishment
  • interception of income tax refunds and lottery winnings over $2500
  • seizure of bank accounts
  • suspension of licenses (including driver, professional, hunting and boating)
  • liens on real estate or lawsuit awards
  • deny passport applications or renewals

And then of course, there’s jail time. As one judge recently said when holding a repeatedly delinquent father in contempt of payment orders and jailing him for 30 days, “Support is the one bill that if you don’t pay it, you can be put in jail.”

If you are a noncustodial parent having difficulty making child-support payments, or a custodial parent need of enforcement help, the Law Office of Gary R. Swavely, Jr. can help you. Contact us today to make an appointment.

From our office in Reading, we’ve served families in transition and crisis in Lancaster, Berks, and the surrounding counties for over 25 years