Child Support/Spousal Support

Child support is the obligation of a parent to provide support for a child until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school.  If you are caring for your child and the other parent of the child is not providing any (or enough) support for the expenses of raising the child, you may be able to go to Family Court to get an order requiring the other parent to pay you child support.

Spousal support is the obligation of a married person to provide for the support of the his or her spouse.  If you are married and you are separated from your spouse, you may be able to get an order for spousal support, whether or not you and your spouse have children.

Self-Help Resources

Child Support in Philadelphia County

This brochure explains what child support is and how to file for it in Philadelphia.

Court Forms Available From the First Judicial District

See the First Judicial District's court forms page for PDF court forms for use in custody, support, and protection from abuse cases.

Domestic Violence and Welfare Support Requirements

Individuals and families who receive cash assistance from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program are required to apply for child or spousal support unless excused "for good cause."  This brochure explains how TANF recipients may be excused from this requirement if filing for support could lead to violence.

Family Law for Teen Parents

A 54-page guide and an on-line quiz for teen parents about their rights and responsibilities when it comes to paternity, child custody, child support, protection from abuse, and emancipation.

Family Law Resource List

This is a list of organizations that provide assistance with family law cases.

Family law resources from PALawHelp.org

PALawHelp.org offers self-help forms and information on a variety of family law topics, including document assembly interviews that allow you to create legal documents on-line.  Some of the document assembly interviews were developed by PLA.

Family law self-help resources from Women's Law Project

The Women's Law Project offeres a variety of self-help materials in the area of Family Law.

Planning for Custody and Care of Children: an Informational Guide for Immigrant Families

This guide is intended to give basic information under Pennsylvania law about custody of children and how to plan for and or deal with a change in circumstances due to a parent’s sudden or expected absence or inability to care for her/his children.  Available in Spanish.

Preparing for Your Support Conference

This video explains what happens at a child support conference, describes how child support is calculated, and helps you decide whether to ask for a hearing before a support master if you are unsatisfied with the result of a support conference. Developed by Philadelphia Legal Assistance as part of its Make Your Case video series.