About Pennsylvania Child Support Law
To ensure adequate provision for all children, child support laws apply to divorcing parents as well as those who have never been married. Child support is generally awarded to the parent who has primary physical custody of the child, and the amount is based on the income of both parties.
In calculating child support, judges consider more than just salaries, wages, and commissions. Other sources can include retirement income, government benefits, and income from investments or rental property. It is important to note, a parent cannot get away with manipulating the system by purposely refusing to work or remaining underemployed. Typically, a judge will impute income (calculate income the parent should be making) when ordering a child support award.
Court-ordered support is mandated and enforceable until the child is 18 and has graduated from high school (or longer if there is a disabling health condition.) Although college expenses are not covered by law, the courts will enforce your settlement agreement addressing this issue.
When parties cannot come to terms, it is important to seek counsel from a family law attorney.
Pennsylvania’s child support calculator provides a base estimate but does not account for many circumstances that fall outside general guidelines. The support amount can be reduced if the children spend 40 percent or more of their time (overnight) with the non-custodial parent. If parents share custody equally, there may or may not be any award of child support, depending on relative incomes.
Other factors a judge may consider in a child support determination include:
- Number and age of children
- Spousal support
- Multiple-family situations
- Unusual needs and obligations
- Assets and liabilities of each parent
- Health insurance for children
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Standards of living
The well-being of the children is the foremost consideration in any child support order. For example, there is a duty to pay even if a parent is denied visitation rights, but the custodial parent cannot refuse visitation because child support has not been paid. When parties cannot come to terms, it is important to seek counsel from an experienced lawyer.
Why Choose Katzenstein Law Offices?
Mr. Katzenstein can offer you valuable counsel, including a realistic, honest assessment of your situation. With decades of experience in all aspects of divorce, he knows Pennsylvania family law and typical rulings by local court judges.
Our firm is very familiar with tactics that may be used against you, such as your spouse hiding income and supplying inaccurate data. In another scenario, a parent may try to manipulate the child custody arrangement and use other tactics to obtain excessive child support. Using sophisticated research tools, we can help expose the truth and work proactively to ensure your rights—and that of your child—are protected.
Contact Us Today
Whether you are collaborating on a settlement agreement or expect to take your case before a judge, seek counsel that can make a valuable difference. Please contact our firm online today to schedule an informative consultation. You can also call (215) 322-3400 to speak to a member of our team.