Although children need the love and support of their parents in order to lead happy, balanced lives, they also require financial assistance so that their basic needs such as food and shelter may be met. When a child's parents do not live together due to separation or divorce, a child may be placed in the primary custody of one parent and may receive child support from the other parent for their maintenance and care. In Pennsylvania legal formulas may be used to determine how much support a child should receive from their noncustodial parent.
As long as a noncustodial parent makes complete and timely child support payments there are few financial issues that can arise between them, their child, and their child's other parent. However, if a noncustodial parent misses child support payments or chooses not to send the sums order by a Pennsylvania family law court then the child's custodial parent may seek to enforce the child support agreement or order that exists to provide their child with needed financial maintenance.
Enforcement of child support orders and agreements can include some very drastic penalties. For example, if a parent does not make good on the child support payments that are outstanding or in arrears they may seek their wages garnished, their tax return funds seized, and their driver's or professional licenses suspended. Depending upon the severity of the delinquency a noncustodial parent may be placed in jail for their failure to provide their child with the support they are entitled to receive.
Parents who are struggling to make their former partners stay current on their children's child support payments can find help in the form of family law attorneys. Lawyers who work in the child support and family law fields can help struggling parents and their kids get the money they need based on the child support orders and agreements that are active on their cases.