Section 4308.1 of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes went into effect in September 2006.  It refers to any settlement paid as a lump sum and negotiated in lieu of, or subsequent to, the filing of a lawsuit of any civil judgment or civil arbitration award that is paid as a third party claim for bodily injury or death under property and/or casualty insurance, or paid as a workers’ compensation or occupational disease award under a workers’ compensation policy (including Property and Casualty Compensation or Occupational Disease Act Policies), in excess of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000). 

When such an award is made, it cannot be paid to the plaintiff until the attorney, insurer or other paying agent either uses a private judgment search company approved by the Department of Child Support Enforcement Lien Program or the prevailing party/beneficiary of the funds provides a statement and written documentation to show that no arrears from the Pennsylvania Child Support Enforcement System exists. 

In English, what this means is that if you owe support, you won’t get the proceeds of your suit until your support arrears are paid.  And if you are a support recipient, if arrears exist on the account, and you find out that the person who is paying you support is going to get a settlement, you should be getting some money soon.

Obviously, this does not apply to support which is not being paid through the court.