Pennsylvania Child Support Laws & Modification
Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines set the amount of child support paid on behalf of a dependent child. Under state law, parents are required to provide financial assistance to their children. The court considers several factors when deciding to pay child support. Support guidelines are followed unless the parents reach an agreement that is approved by the court.
Child support obligations last until a child graduates high school or turns 18-years- old, whichever is later. Read on to learn more about Pennsylvania child support laws and modifications.
Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines
In Pennsylvania, child support is calculated according to the Income Shares Model. This model is based on the premise that a child should be entitled to the same level of support as if their parents lived together. Children should not suffer because their parent’s separated, divorced or did not marry. The amount of support a child receives is based on his/her parents combined income. Factors such as the minor children each parent has and the ability to pay child support is also taken into consideration. The parent who does not have primary custody of the child typically pays support.
When calculating child support, the court will consider the following information:
Each parent’s income
Medical insurance cost
Social security benefits the child receives
The child’s living arrangements
Other support obligations
Standard of living
The child’s age
Shared custodial arrangements
Child support is paid to cover expenses related to the food, shelter and clothing of the child (bare necessities). It also covers child care, medical treatment, and extracurricular activity costs of the child. The payment of child support is reviewed every four years from the date it is ordered.
Child support payments typically are withheld from the parent’s paycheck by the Domestic Relations Office. If a parent is in arrears or behind on their payments the office may also take the parent’s state and federal tax refund and order banks to turn over assets. The state can also prohibit a parent from obtaining a license or imprison him/her for the failure to pay child support. If your child’s parent has failed to pay child support, contact us for a consultation. We can review your case and provide you with guidance on how to obtain assistance.
PA Child Support Modification Laws
An order for child support is not permanent. A child support order can be modified if the financial situation of either parent changes. Each parent must report any substantial change in financial circumstances. A parent can be punished by the court if he/she fails to do so. A change in circumstances includes a raise or a reduction in pay. This tends to happen when a parent receives a promotion, loses his/her job, moves away, or has a new baby. When modifying child support, the court will review both parent’s financial resources and obligations and the difference in the percentage of parenting time to calculate support.
Contact our Lancaster Pennsylvania child support lawyers for a consultation on how to obtain a child support order in Pennsylvania. Our Lancaster child support attorneys can also provide you with legal representation in modifying your existing child support order.