Luzerne County Domestic Relations

Go Home Services Provided About DRS Directions Other Helpful Links Contact Us


WHO CAN FILE FOR SUPPORT

1) A person, including a minor, to whom a duty of support is owing;

2) A person having custody of a minor child (without appointment as guardian) on behalf of that child;

3) A public body or private agency having an interest in the care, maintenance or assistance of a person to whom a duty of support is owing.

NOTE: AN ACTION CAN ALSO BE FILED FOR MEDICAL SUPPORT AND PAST DUE CHILD/SPOUSAL SUPPORT.

 

WHAT WILL IT COST TO FILE AN INITIAL COMPLAINT FOR SUPPORT

A mandatory $10.00 filing fee is assessed on non-TANF (non-welfare) cases, which is collected by the county but is forwarded to the State.

 

WHERE DO I FILE AN ACTION FOR SUPPORT

At the Intake Offices of the DRS in both of our locations.  Appointments are suggested in the Hazleton Branch Office only as there is only one Intake Specialist available.

 

WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO FILE FOR SUPPORT

A current address or place of employment for defendant IS NECESSARY.  You should also provide social security numbers, telephone numbers and dates of birth for yourself, all children and the defendant.  If the defendant's address is unknown, but his/her mother's maiden name and father's name is known, a PARENT LOCATOR can be filed in an attempt to locate him/her.

 

HOW DO I FILE AN ACTION FOR SUPPORT IF THE DEFENDANT LIVES OUTSIDE OF LUZERNE COUNTY

You should still file your complaint in Luzerne County. Our Intake personnel will advise you of all necessary procedures, which will vary with the circumstances.

 

HOW CAN I MODIFY (CHANGE) MY SUPPORT ORDER

In most cases, proceedings to modify or terminate a Support Order shall be brought in the Court that entered the Order.  You must file a Petition for Modification or Termination through the DRS.  Write to your Support Officer to obtain these forms and to be advised of the appropriate procedure in your case.

 

HOW ARE SUPPORT ORDERS MODIFIED

A Support Order can be changed only if there has been a "material and substantial change in circumstances since the Order was made," such as the loss of a job or increased salary.

NOTE:  DO NOT ASSUME THAT YOUR ORDER WILL BE CHANGED AUTOMATICALLY. IN MOST INSTANCES, A SUPPORT CONFERENCE MUST BE HELD TO CHANGE ANY COURT ORDER.  THE CONFERENCE ON THE PETITION WILL NOT BE SCHEDULED UNTIL AT LEAST 180 DAYS HAVE PASSED SINCE THE EXISTING ORDER WAS ISSUED.

WHEN DOES A SUPPORT OBLIGATION END

1) When the child reaches age eighteen (18) AND has graduated from high school.         
2) Prior to reaching eighteen (18) but has graduated from high school and is employed.
3) The child quits school and is either employed and self sufficient, or is eighteen (18) years of age.
4) The child leaves the plaintiff's household, e.g. marries, joins the military, or moves in with the defendant.
5) An adoption of the child occurs.
6) The parties reconcile.
7) Emancipation age varies in other states.  Interstate cases must be reviewed with your officer for this determination.

NOTE:  IF AT THE TIME THE COURT ORDER IS TERMINATED ARREARS ARE STILL OWED, PAYMENTS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL THE ARREARS ARE PAID IN FULL.

WHEN SHOULD I PETITION TO TERMINATE MY SUPPORT ORDER

1) When the child reaches age eighteen (18) AND has graduated from high school.         
2) Prior to reaching eighteen (18) but has graduated from high school and is employed.
3) The child quits school and is either employed and self sufficient, or is eighteen (18) years of age.
4) The child leaves the plaintiff's household, e.g. marries, joins the military, or moves in with the defendant.
5) An adoption of the child occurs.
6) The parties reconcile.
7) Emancipation age varies in other states.  Interstate cases must be reviewed with your officer for this determination.

NOTE:  IF AT THE TIME THE COURT ORDER IS TERMINATED ARREARS ARE STILL OWED, PAYMENTS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL THE ARREARS ARE PAID IN FULL.

WHAT HAPPENS IF CUSTODY OF MY CHILD IS TRANSFERRED TO A PUBLIC AGENCY

In this situation, both parents are obligated to pay support.  The agency taking custody will file a Complaint with the Domestic Relations Section.

MANDATORY THREE YEAR REVIEW.  Under Federal and State law, all Support Orders on TANF (welfare) cases will be reviewed every three years.