Understanding Child Support in Pennsylvania

Child support is a hot-button issue in many divorces. It’s a matter that is best resolved with a skilled Pennsylvania child support attorney on your side. Pennsylvania has developed child support calculation guidelines as outlined in the federal Child Support Enforcement Act. These guidelines take into consideration the following:

  • Needs of the child, which include health insurance, education, daycare, and special needs
  • Income, needs, and obligations of the custodial parent
  • Paying parent’s ability to pay
  • Child’s standard of living before divorce or separation

Which Parent Pays Child Support in Pennsylvania?

The parent with the least physical custody of the children is usually ordered to pay child support. The custody of the children is considered support for the parent with physical custody. There may be no order for child support for parents who will end up with 50/50 custody of the children.

You and your child’s other parent should be aware that your income and your potential for earning income could be used to determine the amount of child support you pay. Since judges always use what is in the best interest of the child as their measuring stick, you can expect that they will look to see if you are not earning as much money as you could be.

For example, if you resign from a high-paying job to take a job, you might enjoy more for lower wages; your previous income could be considered for child support determinations. The same thing could happen if you decide to quit your job when getting remarried or because you want to go back to school.

Discussing your case with a knowledgeable Pennsylvania child custody attorney could help you understand how much child support you may be owed or stand to receive. Your attorney could help you negotiate these amounts with your spouse and advocate for you if a judge must be used to make the decisions about child support.

Can Child Support Orders Be Modified?

An attorney can also work with you to modify your child support order later on. While child support orders are intended to remain the same for a period of time, the courts realize that changes are a normal part of life and that sometimes the child support order requires a modification. Your attorney could help you determine if you or your ex-spouse or children have experienced a change that would warrant the attention of the court and possibly a new child support order.

Changes that might require an amendment to the child support order include:

  • A child’s medical emergency or a change in the needs of the child
  • The child support payer’s short-term inability to pay, perhaps due to an illness or an additional financial burden such as a medical emergency or job loss
  • A temporary fiscal or health hardship on the part of the recipient parent requiring additional child support
  • One parent receives additional income from remarriage
  • A job change or a significant increase or decrease in salary of either parent
  • A cost of living increase
  • The disability of either parent

Hire a Skilled Pennsylvania Child Custody Lawyer Today to Protect Your Interests

Divorce brings up many complicated issues that must be settled, usually within a relatively short time frame. Even if the divorce is amicable and both spouses are getting along, it’s always in your best interest to have a skilled child custody lawyer on your side.

Your attorney knows the child custody statutes and the best ways to apply them to your case to maximize your satisfaction. Hiring an attorney can also decrease your emotional stress and give you peace of mind during this significant life change for you and your children.

Contact Purdy Law Office, LLC today by calling 717-221-8303 or completing our online form to learn more about how we can help with your child custody matters.

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