Collection of Overdue Child Support from Personal Injury Settlements

Posted in Divorce, Personal Injury
In an effort to facilitate the collection of past child support, the Collection of Overdue Support from Monetary Awards was created in 2006 as an amendment to the Domestic Relations Code with unanimous support in both the Pennsylvania State House and Pennsylvania State Senate. Codified as 23 Pa. C.S.A. §4308.1, overdue child support is a lien by operation of law against the net proceeds of any monetary award exceeding $5,000.00.  All monetary awards, which is broadly defined as any claim for bodily injury or death, in excess of $5,000.00 are subject to this law. 
 
The statute requires that all recipients of monetary awards must provide to his or her attorney a sworn statement including full name, mailing address, date of birth and social security number with documentation of the overdue support.  Attorneys who have clients with overdue support can obtain documentation of the overdue support online here.  Moreover, the statute requires the overdue support to be paid to the Pennsylvania State Collection and Disbursement Unit once the amount is verified. As a practical matter, it is important for attorneys to obtain this information at the initial intake.  If you have a client with overdue child support, an attorney should contact the client’s domestic relations attorney and take steps to verify the amount. This should all be done in advance of the settlement. 
 
Joe Cullen is a Shareholder in Stark & Stark’s Yardley, PA office, specializing in Accident & Personal Injury Law. For more information, please contact Mr. Cullen.