If you are paying or receiving support in Pennsylvania you are likely dealing with PASCDU. The acronym stands for the Pennsylvania Statewide Collection and Disbursement Unit. They are responsible for collecting support from the payors and giving support to the payees. Payors are warned at the time an award is established that they will not receive credit for direct payments to the payee and all payments must go through PASCDU. Payors should receive information on sending payments to PASCDU at their support conference or hearing. Local domestic relations offices may be able to accept payments as well. Wage garnishment is the preferred method of collection for support. Once it is set up, payors do not need to worry about sending payments in any longer as the support due will be automatically withheld from their pay.
The first step in seeking support is to file a complaint with the Domestic Relations office. You can go to the office located in your county for assistance in filing. Through the child support program website you are now able to start a request for support online. Once a complaint is submitted, an initial support conference is scheduled for approximately four weeks later. Any support will be retroactive to the filing date so parties requesting support are not prejudiced during this time frame.
There are some differences in procedure among the different counties even though the same law applies. One example is as it relates to support proceedings. Bucks County uses a two-tier system for handling support matters. The first step involves a conference before a court officer. At the conference level, both parties are required to bring proof of their income in the form of pay stubs, tax returns, W-2's, etc. The officer presiding over the conference will use the income information provided to determine the net income of the parties and subsequently run a calculation based on the state-wide guidelines for support. If the parties are agreeable to the support number generated by the calculations, they can sign a final order for support in that amount. If either party is not agreeable, the next step is a hearing before a Judge.