What type of enforcement actions may be taken if I don't pay my support?

Failure to pay support as ordered by the Court, will result in any and all of the following enforcement activities by the Washington County Domestic Relations Section: If a payment is missed on a case, a Notice of Non-Compliance letter may be sent; or an Enforcement Conference will be scheduled with the Enforcement Officer. If the defendant fails to appear for this conference or fails to reach or abide by any agreement entered into at the conference, then contempt proceedings will be initiated against them.

Contempt Conference

When a contempt petition is filed, the noncustodial parent is ordered to appear before a Conference Officer or Hearing Officer. If the noncustodial parent is ordered to appear for contempt, prompt arrival is expected. Failure to appear will result in a bench warrant issued for their arrest. If a bench warrant is issued and the noncustodial parent is arrested, they will be scheduled for hearing in front of the Judge via video.

Purge Condition

The Judge may order the noncustodial parent to pay money and/or taken certain actions in order to be released from jail. This is called setting a purge condition; failure to meet these conditions may result in continued confinement in the county correctional facility up to six months for each charge of civil contempt. Once the purge conditions are met, the judge will sign a release order provided that there is no other reason for confinement.

Noncustodial Parent Check-ups

If a noncustodial parent is jailed, they may be granted work release if they have proof of employment and work hours. This is subject to verification by the county jail authorities.

At the same time any and all of the following may occur:

  • Arrears payment will be increased
  • Contempt proceedings
  • Credit bureau reporting
  • Denial of passport issuance or renewal
  • Interception of lottery and casino winnings
  • Lien against properties
  • Publication of the noncustodial parent's name in the newspaper
  • Seizure of checking accounts
  • Seizure of federal tax refund
  • Seizure of individual retirement accounts
  • Seizure of other financial assets
  • Seizure of savings accounts
  • Seizure of state tax refund
  • Suspension of driver's license
  • Suspension of occupational license
  • Suspension of professional license
  • Suspension of recreational license (hunting and fishing)

Show All Answers

1. What is support and who may receive it?
2. How do I file for support?
3. What if there is a Protection From Abuse order against the person from whom I am seeking support?
4. How is the support amount determined?
5. How paternity is established and why is it important?
6. What must I do if I receive an Order to appear for a support conference or hearing?
7. Where do I go for support conferences or hearings?
8. Do I have to appear for my support hearing if I live outside of Washington County, Pennsylvania?
9. What are the rules to participate by phone and how do I request to do this?
10. What will happen if I don’t appear for a conference or hearing before the Court?
11. What happens at a support conference?
12. What happens at a support hearing?
13. How do I file exceptions?
14. What are my obligations if I receive public assistance benefits?
15. What are my obligations while I have an active support case?
16. How do I change my support order?
17. What do I do if I am paying spousal support and a divorce is granted?
18. What do I do if one of the children who I pay support for turns 18 and graduates high school?
19. What is PACSES?
20. How do I pay my support?
21. What do I do if I cannot pay my support?
22. What type of enforcement actions may be taken if I don't pay my support?
23. What if my driver's license is suspended for failure to pay support?
24. What is SCDU and how do I obtain information concerning payments?
25. How do I collect unreimbursed medical expenses under my order of support?
26. What is the PACSES IVR and how do I use it?