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Domestic Relations

The Domestic Relations Branch has varied responsibilities in responding to complaints and petitions that can be broadly categorized under: Child and Spousal Support, Divorce, Child Custody, and Domestic Violence

Support: Child and Spousal support cases have three components: 1) establishment of paternity; 2) determination of the support obligation; and 3) enforcement.

Paternity: For children born out of wedlock, establishment of paternity is the first step toward determining the child support obligation. Paternity can be established in one of four ways: 1) voluntary acknowledgement of paternity; 2) genetic testing; 3) default paternity establishment; and 4) in-hospital voluntary paternity establishment.

Obligation: In determining support obligations the amount of support - child support, spousal support, or alimony pendente lite (suspended by the lawsuit, or in effect until the outcome of the case is determined) - is awarded pursuant to procedures under the Rules of Civil Procedure and determined in accordance with support guidelines.

Support Compliance: The main function of the Support Compliance Unit is to monitor and track all child support orders to ensure compliance. Support orders are monitored through the Pennsylvania Automated Child Support Enforcement System (PACSES) for payments. Efforts are taken to encourage compliance as soon as the order is entered. If necessary, progressive enforcement remedies are taken. When accounts become delinquent, payors may be scheduled for Enforcement Conferences, Contempt Conferences, or Judicial Contempt Hearings, depending on the circumstances or the severity of the delinquency. The underlying objective of the enforcement process is to compel payment, and encourage ongoing compliance.

Please select an office or department from the list below to view detailed information.

Paying your Child Support
Office of Administration
Customer Service Center
Intake Unit
Domestic Violence Unit
Tactical Enforcement
Parent Locator Service
Filing Unit (TANF Intake)
Order Establishment and Enforcement Unit
Genetic Testing Unit
Support Masters Unit
Networking for Jobs Program
Financial Services
Custody and Divorce Masters Unit
Bench Warrant Unit
Writ Service Unit
Office of the Clerk of the Family Court
Intergovernmental Unit
Court Listings
Americans with Disabilities Act
Requests for Hearing Impaired and Foreign Language Interpreters
Training Coordinator
FAX Directory
Other - PA DHS Compass Online Application Link



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