Paying Child Support

The Pennsylvania State Collection and Disbursement Unit (PA SCDU) receives and sends out child support payments. Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare operates the PA SCDU. Most child support is paid by income withholding as ordered by the court and maintained in the Pennsylvania Child Support Enforcement System (PACSES), which is the state’s child support computer. If your employer gets a court order, the employer will take child support out of your pay and send it to PA SCDU.  Support can also be taken from your unemployment compensation, Social Security, and retirement and pension benefits.  It is very important to know when, how and where you should be paying child support or you can suffer serious consequences imposed by the court.

How can I pay child support if I don’t have income withholding?

Effective May 1, 2007, PA SCDU will send one payment coupon each month to parents ordered to pay support and who do not have income withholding. You must write on the coupon the amount of money you are paying. Make your personal check, cashier’s check or money order payable to PA SCDU. A coupon should be sent with every payment to PA SCDU. However, if you do not have a payment coupon, write your PACSES member number, which is found on your court order, or Social Security number (SSN) on your check or money order and:

If you live in Pennsylvania, send payments to:
PA SCDU
PO Box 69110paying child support
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9110

If you live outside of Pennsylvania, send payments to:
PA SCDU
PO Box 61167
Harrisburg, PA 17106-1167

PA SCDU cannot accept checks that are considered non-negotiable by banking standards. Some examples of non-negotiable items are: checks that are stale dated, post dated, not signed; checks that are not payable to PA SCDU; the amount in numbers does not match the written amount. PA SCDU also does not accept temporary checks or starter checks.

You can also pay child support by:

  • Personal Check, Cashier’s Check or Money Order. Send your payment coupon with the check or money order so your account is credited. Write your PACSES member number or SSN on the check or money order and make it payable to PA SCDU.
  • 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 or savings account. This is called recurring automatic withdrawal. 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. Because you will not be able to set up your account to automatically charge your credit card, you must call PA SCDU every time you wish to make a credit/debit card payment. Credit card payments may also be made on-line at www.e-Childspay.com.

For information about paying PA child support you have paid, 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, call between 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday. If you have questions about your case that are not related to your support payment, contact the Domestic Relations Section (DRS) that handles your case.

What if I move or change my job? 

The law says that parents have seven days to report to the DRS in writing or in person if they move or change jobs.

What happens if I don’t pay?

If you do not pay your child support, the DRS may use one or more of the following enforcement measures:

  • National and State New Hire Reporting: Your employer must report information on new employees. This information is matched against child support records. The records are used to locate parents, establish child support orders and enforce existing orders.
  • Federal and State Tax Refund Offset Programs: Your federal and state income tax refunds can be taken if you owe overdue child support. Click here for more information about the Federal program. Click here for more information about the State program.
  • Financial Institution Data Match: The court can order financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, to turn over your financial assets to pay your overdue support. Click here for more information.
  • Work Requirements: You can be ordered by the court to work or join an employment program.
  • Credit Bureau Reporting: If you are late in paying support, your name and the amount of back support you owe will be reported to the major credit bureaus.
  • License Suspension: If you owe at least three months of support and a court has not ordered income withholding, you may have the following licenses suspended, denied or not renewed:
    • Driver’s license
    • Commercial driver’s license
    • Professional or occupational license
    • Recreational license.
  • Passport Denial: The United States Department of State can deny the issuance or renewal of a passport or revoke a passport if you have child support arrears over $2,500. Click here for more information.
  • Lottery Intercept: Your lottery winnings of more than $2,500 may be intercepted if you owe overdue child support.
  • Intercept of Workers Compensation and Lump Sum Personal Injury Payment: The amount of overdue child support you owe may be taken from your settlement or benefits.
  • Child Support Recovery Act: Federal law makes it a crime if you owe more than $5,000 of child support for longer than a year and you do not pay the child support for a child who lives in another state. If you are convicted, the court will order repayment of the unpaid support. You can be fined or put in prison up to two years, or both.
  • Publication of Name: Your name may be published in the newspaper if you are at least 30 days late in paying child support.
  • Liens on Real Estate: Your overdue support automatically becomes a lien against all real estate that you own in this state.

For specific information go to: PA Child Support Program
For more information click: Child Support
For more information click: Receiving Child Support
For more information click: Child Support and Taxes