Parental Obligations of Support for Juveniles in Placement

This page is to inform you of the process involving your financial obligations concerning the placement of your child.

The Initial Step

Upon entering placement, the Westmoreland County Juvenile Probation Office is required to file for child support with the Domestic Relations Office. If the natural mother and father are divorced, filing will be made on both parents. Upon receiving the complaint, a hearing will be scheduled by the Domestic Relations Office before a Conference Officer.

Hearing Levels

1. Conference

2. Appeal to Hearing Officer (Master)

3. Exceptions to Hearing Officer's findings to Family Court Judge

The Conference/Hearing

The parents must bring the following information with them to the hearing:
  • Most recent Federal Tax return.
  • Pay stub for preceding six months.
  • Completed "Income and Expense Statement" (only for combined net month income in excess of $10,000).
  • Verification of child care expenses.
  • Proof of medical coverage, which you have or may be available to you.
The Conference Officer will make a decision on the amount of support the parents must pay for their child while in placement. This decision is based on the parents earnings and all the information that was revealed during the hearing.

If the parents do not agree with the support amount that the Conference Officer has set, they have ten days to appeal the decision. A hearing will then be scheduled in front of a Hearing Officer. If they disagree with the Master's findings, they have ten days to file exceptions to be heard before a Family Court Judge.

Once a set amount is established, the parents will automatically have a wage attachment placed on their wages for the full amount due each month. Two important considerations should be noted about payments:

  • Unemployment checks will be attached.
  • If a child receives S.S. or S.S.I., Juvenile Services will become the payee to help defray cost of placement for the child.
If Juvenile Services becomes the payee, Domestic Relations is then bypassed.

It should also be noted that if the parents do not appear for the initial conference, the conference may enter a default order or issue a warrant for their arrest.

Upon the juvenile's release from placement, Domestic Relations is notified of the release date, support payments to Juvenile Services are then stopped unless back payment is due.