Child Support in PA
PRACTICE AREA DETAILS
ABOUT THIS PRACTICE AREA
UNDERSTANDING CHILD SUPPORT
Child support should be addressed in any divorce proceeding involving a custody dispute. At Fenters Ward we encourage our clients to resolve these issues by mutual agreement and without the costs and risks of litigation. When settlement is not a possibility, Pennsylvania courts will make a determination of the amount, manner and duration of child support to be paid to one spouse for the maintenance and care of the children.
HOW IS CHILD SUPPORT DETERMINED?
When calculating child support, the court looks to the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines which are issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The guidelines seek to provide the same amount of monetary support that a divorced or single parent would have received if the parents were together. The amount to be paid is based upon the needs of the child and the potential income of the parents. The paying parent will often times be responsible for maintaining the child’s health insurance and some out-of-pocket medical costs.
Additionally, the duration which the child resides with one or both parents is taken into account, as well as the necessary expenses paid by both households. Typically, the the child support order will remain in effect until the child turns 18 or graduates high school, but their are exceptions.
Child support orders can be appealed or modified based on error or change in circumstance. However, it is important to have an attorney handle the case from the outset, so that the first child support order is fair and reasonable. Courts are often hesitant to overturn or modify an existing support order. Every parent wants the best for their child. However, the law only requires a parent to make support payments which are fair and reasonable. Only your attorney can properly assert your rights in court or settlement negotiations.
HOW DOES CUSTODY EFFECT MY CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENT?
The parent that spends the most time with the child is called the “primary custodian.” The other parents will generally be required to pay child support. If there is a 50/50 split, often, no support will be given to either parent, unless there is a great disparity in income in both households.
See our web page for more information on Child Custody.