When a family law judge issues an order to pay child support, the order becomes law. Failure to comply with that law means that the offending party could be in contempt of court, which can result in steep fines, wage garnishment and even jail time. A judge can also suspend the negligent parent's professional licenses, and the parent may face criminal charges.
Pennsylvania courts will usually issue a child support award in favor of the "custodial parent" to be paid by the "noncustodial parent." The custodial parent is the parent with whom the children live, and the noncustodial parent is the parent who has visitation rights. This child support payment is meant to benefit the child to ensure that he or she is well taken care of and there's enough money to go around for the custodial parent.