Your child support conference is the proceeding that establishes the support order. It is an important part of the process that requires the involvement of both you and your co-parent.
We understand that you probably have many questions about the expectations you must meet at a child support conference. The following are answers to some of the most common inquiries.
- What if you cannot attend the hearing?
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, you will receive a notice of the date of your support conference upon its scheduling. If you are unable to attend, you must contact the county Domestic Relations Section. If you can provide a good reason for being unable to attend the conference, you may be able to participate by telephone.
- Who must attend the conference?
Both you and the child’s other parent must attend the conference. There are safety procedures and options available in cases involving domestic violence.
- What must you bring to the conference?
Both you and your co-parent must bring documents regarding finances to the conference. The court will send you an income and expenses statement that you must complete. You must bring additional evidence in the form of pay stubs and tax forms such as W-2s.
If self-employed, you must provide business records. If you are eligible to receive any benefits, such as a pension or disability benefits, you must provide records of your benefits or at least proof that you have applied for them.
- What happens at the conference?
You and your spouse will negotiate your child support obligation. A conference officer presides over the proceeding, making recommendations on the basis of the current child support guidelines and the financial documents that you and your co-parent have provided.
If there is no agreement reached, the conference officer will enter an interim order and schedule a new conference. Otherwise, you and your co-parent will sign the final agreement.