Most professional license holders have no idea that failure to pay child support in Pennsylvania can result in the suspension of their professional license.  In Pennsylvania, the domestic relations act provides that the holder of a professional or occupational license may have their license suspended, non-renewed or not issued for certain actions.  See 23 Pa.C.S. §4355.  These actions include failing to pay child support to the extent that the amount due equals three months or more of the monthly support obligation and where the department has been unable to attach the income directly from the employer.  So don’t play games with child support because your license is at risk.  In addition, your license can also be affected if you have failed to comply with a visitation or partial custody order and have been held in contempt.  Your license can further be affected if you fail to comply with subpoenas and/or warrants relating to paternity or child support proceedings.  Remember a license is a privilege not a right and you must live up to the standards to maintain that privilege.

Fortunately, as a licensee, you do have certain rights and your license cannot be affected without a hearing and notice to you.  It is not in anyone’s best interest that your ability to earn a living be put in jeopardy so generally these issues can be resolved short of an actual license suspension.  Certainly complying with all court orders is a start.  Having your company begin to deduct child support directly will also help. 

The process provides that the licensee must be provided thirty days notice that his or her license will be suspended and an opportunity to contest the decision.  However, the decision can only be contested on a mistake of fact as to the amount owed or as to mistaken identity.  But it does allow for a resolution by paying the arrears, entering a payment plan, responding to the subpoena etc.

On a side note this same statute applies to motor vehicle, boating, hunting and fishing licenses.

If you have any questions please contact me.  jmcguire@c-wlaw.com

 


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