Do I need a lawyer to get child support?

Child support is a monthly payment made to offer financial support to a biological child, usually from the non-custodial parent (the parent who does not have primary custody) to the custodial parent (the parent who has primary custody). Child support provides for the child's food, clothing, medical care expenses, daycare expenses, and educational expenses, like school supplies. Under Pennsylvania law, all parents are required to financially support their children until they turn 18 or until they graduate high school, whichever is later.


It is possible to apply to receive child support without hiring an attorney. Go to the PA Child Support System and enter your information. After you enter a new application for support, a conference will be scheduled where you and the other parent provide evidence for your financial information. Be prepared to show:

  • your monthly income and expenses for your child like food, clothing, and housing

  • daycare expenses

  • health insurance costs for your child or children

The court will then decide how much child support is due using a complex formula that considers both parents' income, the needs of the child or children, and the parents' abilities to provide for the child/ren. If you're interested, here is a child support calculator that can help estimate what your child support payment may be.


The law is constantly changing and it is complicated. It may be in your child's best interests to retain an experienced family law attorney who can navigate these complications for you to ensure the most financial security for your family. If you need help initiating the child support process, please contact us today. We offer a free 30-minute consultation where we can assess your unique situation and offer expert legal advice about the best next steps for you and your family to secure the financial support your child is entitled to. We'll be by your side when you need it most.