Child Support

Child support is a system of regular payments that are made each month from one party to another involving minor children. The Pennsylvania State guidelines that are taken into account include:

  • Income of each parent

  • Number of nights spent with each parent

  • Number of children

  • Specific needs of child / children

In Pennsylvania, both parents have the responsibility to financially support the children. This duty to provide child support lasts until the child turns at least 18 years of age and has graduated from high school. Typically, the parent with whom the child or children reside will be the recipient of the support payments.

How to Obtain Child Support

In order for you to obtain a child support order, you will need to file in your local county domestic relations office. The court will do what it can to accommodate the needs of the parents and the best interest of the child. The calculation of child support can be complex and is based on many factors, including state mandated guidelines. Therefore, it is important for you to have a knowledgeable attorney, in the county where your children reside, run the support calculations in order to produce an accurate calculation for you.

How are child support orders enforced?

Most judges will encourage a payment schedule to be agreed upon by both parties. In the case of a spouse who is uncooperative and refuses or fails to make the child support payments as agreed, the other spouse has options for taking action to ensure the support is enforced. In Pennsylvania, a spouse can seek assistance from a district attorney who will work with the courts to decide how to proceed.  Penalties to a spouse that fails to pay child support can include:

  • Jail time

  • Interception of tax refunds

  • Wage attachments

  • Seizure of property

  • Suspension of business/occupational license

Judges are typically wary of ordering jail time for a spouse who has not paid child support, as the resulting inability to receive income will only exacerbate the problem and further inhibit the well-being of the child.

Can child support be renegotiated?

In certain scenarios, parents can work with the courts to renegotiate the terms of child support in order to adjust to life events that make it difficult on one parent to adequately support the child. Modifications can be temporary or permanent and must be approved by a judge in a hearing in which the parent proposing has to provide evidence of a circumstance change.

Grounds for temporary modification include:

  • A medical emergency for the child

  • Inability to pay due to illness, loss of job, medical emergency, etc.

  • Temporary financial hardship due to illness, loss of job, medical emergency, etc.

Grounds for permanent modification include:

  • Additional income due to remarriage

  • Job change

  • Cost of living increase

  • Permanent disability

  • Needs of child

In many cases, child support agreements will need to be modified throughout the years as circumstances change and as the children grow older. At The Maroto Law Group, we also provide assistance with modifications if you or the other parent is pursuing the alteration of the child support order. Additionally, we can assist with the enforcement of a court order if the paying party has violated the court order. Contact us today for any matter pertaining to child support.  Our lawyers have significant experience and knowledge with the local domestice relations offices in DelawareCounty, Chester County and Montgomery County when it comes to obtaining support for you and your child. 

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