Do I have to appear for my support hearing if I live outside of Washington County, Pennsylvania?

Custodial Parent

The custodial parent (the person who receives support payments) not residing in Washington County, is not required to appear for support or contempt hearings. Their interests will be represented by the Title IV-D Attorney. However, they are expected to cooperate fully with the court. The IV-D Attorney will make sure that the procedural requirements of the hearing are met and that the case is not dismissed for a custodial parent that does not appear. The same procedural representation is not provided to a non-custodial parent.

All conferences occur by telephone and most hearings by video conferencing. For genetic tests, genetic testing hearings, and by request, hearings may occur onsite. 

About the IV-D Attorney

The Title IV-D attorney provides procedural representation only. The IV-D Attorney is not "your attorney" and the custodial parent is not their "client." Custodial parents are urged to be present for support or contempt hearings by telephone or video conference, if possible. This is particularly true if there are any special circumstances that the Court should know about concerning the custodial parent or the child(ren). Only custodial parents can answer allegations made by the noncustodial parent at the hearing and present direct testimony for the Court to consider.

Noncustodial Parent

The noncustodial parent in the case (the person who pays support), must appear in person for contempt hearings and genetic testing. If they are not required to physically appear, they are responsible for participation in a telephone conference hearing or conference. This is done by returning the participation form for their conference or hearing. They must also provide income and expense information prior to their scheduled hearing or conference. See enclosed directions for more information,

Failure to Report

Failing to appear by audio, video or in person if required for a support conference hearing will result in:

  • The Court may impute the income a parent can, or do, make and will base a support order on that
  • The Court will use whatever evidence it has before it to determine the amount of support or
  • The hearing will proceed without their input, even if they are the person who filed
  • If paternity needs to be established failure to appear may result the noncustodial parent becoming the legal father of a child

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?