Intake Interview Preparation & Process
To allow for your case to be processed and scheduled in a timely manner, before you come in to open your case please gather as much of the following information as possible to bring with you to your interview:
- Social Security cards / numbers for yourself, your children, and the absent parent
- Birth certificates for the child or children
- Photo identification for applicant (yourself)
- Current address of absent parent(s)
- Employer name and address for yourself and absent parent(s)
- Proof of paternity if applicable
- Proof of medical insurance coverage (medical cards)
- Marriage license / divorce decree
- Protection from abuse order (if applicable)
- Proof of custody (caretakers).
- All sources of income for absent parent, including Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI), veteran's benefits, unemployment compensation, second job, etc.
- A photograph of the absent parent
- The drivers license number of the absent parent
- Custodial parent must provide their latest W-2 and most recent pay stub
- Proof of day care costs (If applicable)
For questions or concerns before your interview, please call 610-278-3646
Your Intake Interview
You can expect to spend about an hour completing the intake interview in order to receive the best possible service. You will then be seen by an intake interviewer who will prepare a support complaint and answer any questions you may have about your case. You will also be scheduled for a support conference to determine how much the absent parent will be mandated to pay for support. The date of the support conference will be approximately four to eight weeks from the date of the interview.
Note that support complaints are sometimes sent to another county or state because the absent parent lives there, but that it is not always necessary to do so. There are federal and state laws that can allow us to address a case in Montgomery County, regardless of where the absent parent lives. The intake interviewer will discuss this issue during your interview if appropriate, and will determine if the case will be sent to another court.
If the case is sent to a court outside Pennsylvania, the other court will establish and enforce the support order and send the payments to our office. In such cases, you are not required to go to the other court for any hearings. These actions are called Interstate / Reciprocal / UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act) cases.
Filing a Complaint in Montgomery County
You may file your complaint in Montgomery County or if:
- You and the child live in Montgomery County
- The defendant lives in Montgomery County
- The defendant is regularly employed in Montgomery County
If the absent parent lives in a nearby county, you may go to that county and file a support action in their Domestic Relations Section. Montgomery County will not be involved in the action, and you will have to attend hearings in their court as scheduled.
It is generally desirable to have both parties in a case report to the same court. If circumstances allow you to file a case directly with the court that will be hearing the matter (often the court where the defendant lives or works), we encourage you to do so.
Locating the Absent Parent
Domestic Relations cannot file a complaint without the valid address of the absent parent. If you do not know the absent parent's current address, intake staff will work on your case based on the information that you are able to provide. You may be called at a later date to provide more information. The Domestic Relations Office uses a variety of sources in attempting to locate an absent parent. Some of these sources include federal and state tax information, driver's licenses, credit bureau and public assistance information, and employment information.
If a valid address is located, you will be contacted again to come in and complete the complaint. If the absent parent cannot be located, your case may, unfortunately, be closed based upon a lack of necessary information.
Your Support Folder
When you leave your intake interview, you will be given an envelope containing copies of all the paperwork that you signed, along with other handouts, including a handbook with these guidelines. You will always receive copies of documents filed and orders entered. Keep these and all subsequent documents together for your records.
Refer to them any time you contact Domestic Relations about your case. If you need to acquire a copy of any of these documents in the future, there is a charge of $1 per page.