Domestic Relations FAQs

Domestic Relations Forms

How Do I Get Support?

When an individual requests support, he or she must first file a complaint at the Domestic Relations Section. This person is referred to as the "Obligee" or "Plaintiff." The person who is to pay the support is called the "Obligor," "Defendant" or "absent parent."

When the Obligee comes into the Domestic Relations Section, an "intake conference" will be scheduled. At the scheduled intake conference, an intake worker will prepare the support complaint. This meeting will take approximately 30 minutes. You must bring the following information to the intake conference:

  • The Obligee’s name and address, date of birth, social security number, the name and address of his/her employer, the marriage license (if married), the divorce decree (if divorced).
  • The Obligor’s name and address, date of birth, social security number, place of employment, names and addresses of the Obligor’s closest relatives, and any information that will aid in locating the absent parent.
  • The child’s name and address, date of birth, birth certificate, and social security number.
  • A copy of the medical insurance cards in effect for the Plaintiff and all children involved.

The case will then be scheduled for a support conference and a copy of the Complaint will be sent to the Obligor. Both parties will receive a Court Order directing them to appear at a support conference on a specific date and time.

top

What Do I Bring To A Support Conference?

The Court Order directing both parties to appear at a conference specifies certain documents which must be brought to the conference. The following items are required from both parties:

  • A copy of your most recent income tax return, as filed with the IRS. (If you do not have a copy, you may contact the IRS by telephone at 800-829-1040 to request a transcript.) Alternatively, you may complete and mail Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return. The IRS will mail your transcripts directly to you about 2 weeks after your request.
  • Pay stubs for the last 6 months. (If your income fluctuates, pay stubs for the last 12 months.)
  • The completed Income Statement mailed to you with the Order directing you to appear.
  • Medical insurance cards and insurance policy information.
  • Proof of daycare costs.
  • Proof of medical insurance costs.
  • Any other information which you believe will help the conference officer make a determination.
  • If you are self-employed, you must bring your most recent business tax return, a profit and loss statement for the most recent quarterly period and you may also be required to provide documentation in support of some or all of your business expenses. Page 3 of the Income Statement must be completed and provides additional information about required documents for the conference.

top

What Happens At The Conference?

At the conference, the conference officer is an unbiased party. He or she will listen to both parties and will use the information provided by the parties and their employers to determine the amount of support which may be required. The amount of support ordered is based on both parties’ net monthly incomes, the amount each party is capable of earning, and/or the reasonable needs of the children.

In Pennsylvania, the amount of support is determined by using written support guidelines. These guidelines are the same throughout Pennsylvania. In high income cases, a Meltzer calculation will be used which involves a more detailed review of expenses.

top

What If I Move Or Change Jobs?

The law requires that within 7 days, the parties to a support action must report to the Domestic Relations Section in writing or in person if they move or change jobs.

Change Of Employer Form

Change Of Address Form

top

What If I Don’t Believe I’m The Father?

In Pennsylvania, when a child is born to a woman who is unmarried, there is no legal relationship between the father and the child. A father of a child born to an unmarried woman is not the father for legal purposes unless:

  • Both parents have signed an Acknowledgment of Paternity form, or
  • A Domestic Relations Section or court has entered an order that establishes paternity.

Under Pennsylvania law, when a child is born to a married woman, the husband is the child’s presumed legal father. If an Obligor appears at a support conference and denies that he is the father of the child, the Domestic Relations Section will make arrangements for the parties to undergo genetic testing to determine whether or not the man is the father.

top

Do I Have To Pay Fees?

The Juniata County Domestic Relations Section does charge fees for certain services. The fees are approved by the President Judge and are subject to change. To determine whether there is a filing fee or a fee for other services you are requesting, please call the Domestic Relations Section at 717-436-7750.

top

What If I Can’t Attend The Conference At The Scheduled Time?

If the Obligee does not attend the conference, the case will be dismissed. However, if the Obligee receives Public Assistance and does not attend, the matter will be heard and the Department of Public Welfare will be informed that the Obligee did not attend and was thus, "uncooperative." He or she could lose welfare benefits as a result.

If the Obligor does not attend the conference, the conference will proceed and a default support order may be entered based on information obtained by the Domestic Relations Section.

It is important to note that pursuant to a Court Order, each party is directed to appear and bring certain documents. Attendance and documents are required from all parties.

Each party is permitted – once – to request that a conference be rescheduled, provided there is a legitimate reason for doing so. Such requests must be made in advance to permit enough time for processing all paperwork and notifying all parties and attorneys. Last minute requests are not appropriate and will not be granted. If a party would like to have a conference rescheduled, that party should call the Domestic Relations Section to do so.

The Juniata County Domestic Relations Section is willing to work with clients who have difficulty attending a scheduled conference. Participation by telephone is a service offered by our office, however, this service is provided with certain requirements. Either party may contact the Domestic Relations Section to obtain a form requesting permission to participate in the conference by telephone, or download the form, Request To Participate In Support Conference By Telephone. All such requests must be submitted – with all required documents – AT LEAST 7 working days prior to the conference date. Requests must be approved by the Domestic Relations Section Director. If a request is submitted without all required documents, it will be denied. If a request is denied, the party will not be permitted to participate in the conference by telephone. Last minute requests will not be granted.

NOTE: Parties scheduled for enforcement conferences will always be required to attend personally.

Request To Participate In Support Conference By Telephone

top

Can My Order Be Modified?

Parties can file a Petition For Modification of their child support order at any time that they feel there is a change in circumstance. Additionally, every three years, both parents will receive a notice that they can request a review of their child support order. Some factors that may change a child support order are:

  • Income of either party significantly increases or decreases.
  • The child now has significant or continuing medical expenses.
  • Daycare and/or medical insurance changes.
  • The parents are now living together.
  • The child receiving support is 18 years of age and is not attending high school.
  • The child starts living with the noncustodial parent or someone other than the custodial parent/Plaintiff.

There is a filing fee in Juniata County for filing a Petition For Modification. You may ask to be excused from paying the fee by filing a petition to proceed In Forma Pauperis. It is then up to the Domestic Relations Section Director to accept or decline the request.

Petition to Modify

top

What Are My Payment Options?

Most child support is paid by income withholding and is recorded in the Pennsylvania Child Support Enforcement System (PACSES), which is the state’s child support computer system. All support payments must be paid to the Pennsylvania State Collection And Disbursement Unit (PA SCDU). If your employer takes support out of your pay, it is sent to PA SCDU.

Several options are available to make support payments. When making a payment, it is very important that you always include your full name, PACSES Member ID number and your Social Security number. Various payment options are:

  • Personal Check, Cashier’s Check or Money Order. Mail your check or money order payable to PA SCDU, together with your payment coupon or a document containing your full name, your PACSES Member ID number and your Social Security number, to:
  • If you live in Pennsylvania, send payments to:
    PA SCDU
    PO Box 69110
    Harrisburg, PA 17106-9110
    If you live outside of Pennsylvania, send payments to:
    PA SCDU
    PO Box 61167
    Harrisburg, PA 17106-1167
  • Telephone. You can make a payment electronically from your checking or savings account. Contact the PA SCDU Customer Service Unit at 1-877-727-7238 for instructions.
  • Recurring Automatic Withdrawals. You can choose to have your support payments taken electronically from your checking/savings account. Call PA SCDU at 1-877-727-7238 if you would like to set up recurring automatic withdrawal.
  • Credit/Debit Card. PA SCDU accepts Visa® or MasterCard®. You can pay by telephone with your credit/debit card by calling PA SCDU toll free at 1-800-955-2305. You must call PA SCDU every time you wish to make a payment. Credit card payments may also be made on-line at www.e-Childspay.com.
  • Western Union. Western Union has 50,000 locations in the United States. The payment process to be used at a Western Union location is called Prepaid.

For payment questions, contact PA SCDU at 1-877-727-7238. Individuals with hearing impairment should use 1-877-676-9582.

Both numbers are toll-free nationwide. You can access your payment information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To speak with Customer Service staff at PA SCDU, call between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

top

How Do I Get Reimbursed For Out-Of-Pocket Medical Bills?

After out-of-pocket medical bills have been paid by Plaintiff, he/she should request from the Domestic Relations Section or download from this site a copy of the Policy and Summary form for submission and reimbursement from Defendant of his/her share of the medical bills paid. Plaintiff must complete the Summary form and attach copies of each bill listed, together with proof of payment of each bill listed, and mail the form and the copies to Defendant by certified mail, return receipt requested. In the event Defendant does not provide reimbursement for his/her share within thirty (30) days, Plaintiff should contact the Domestic Relations Section and provide copies of all documents to request enforcement.

Medical Bills Policy and Summary Form

top