In Pennsylvania, the amount of child support a person owes depends on how much income both parents make at the time the order is entered. Although in some cases this calculation is as simple as looking at each parent's recent paychecks, in other situations, what is or is not considered income for child support purposes can be the source of a lot of contention.
When a Philadelphia couple is no longer involved in a relationship with one another but there are children involved, it is imperative that child support be dealt with in an upfront and evenhanded manner. This is true whether the parents were married and chose to divorce or the child resulted from an unmarried relationship. Regardless of the circumstances, the child's welfare is of paramount importance. When determining who will pay child support and how much, legal help is key. It is also vital with other child support issues that frequently arise.
Pennsylvania has several tools to help assure that child support is fully and timely paid. As part of its child support enforcement powers, a court can impose many penalties that have financial and legal consequences upon a parent who does not comply with a support order.
Pennsylvania was rated as a national leader in child support enforcement by collecting 84 percent of overdue child support in 2014. In that year, support enforcement officers collected over $1.2 billion. Over the last 14 years, the state collected over $17 billion.
In Pennsylvania, a father without custody may still have responsibilities to provide child support for medical expenses and everyday expenses and assist with other legal obligations. Paternity also gives the father certain legal rights.
Seeking and obtaining child custody and assuring just and reasonable child support in Pennsylvania can raise many legal issues. But single fathers and mothers may also confront unique problems and inequities after divorce and during custody. Perceptions among the courts and other parents concerning single parenting may need to change because of progress in gender equality, single fathers seeking more custody rights and to assure the best interests of the children.
Parents have the moral and legal obligation to make timely child support payments which help provide food, medical expenses and other necessities. Accordingly, Pennsylvania and federal laws impose penalties on a parent who fails to meet this responsibility.
Life is full of changes and this is also true following a divorce. After a divorce, former spouses will have a divorce settlement and child custody order and child support order. Divorced couples in Pennsylvania may wonder, however, what happens if something changes. In general, post-divorce modifications can be requested based on certain circumstances following a divorce. In the case of child support, a child support modification may be granted in certain situations and circumstances.
Reaching fair and agreeable terms during dissolution often takes times, and some divorcing couples in Philadelphia might have to overcome many challenges and resolve several dispute to come to a divorce settlement. While some of these decisions will remain and will go unchanged after the divorce decree is signed, when children are involved, terms involving the children might require adjustments as they age. A child support order may no longer provide the financial needs of the child or a parent may find it difficult making the required payments. Such situations could mean modification.
As Philadelphia parents know, life situations can change in an instant. A parent may hold a steady job, every week getting a reliable pay check, when all of a sudden that job vanishes or no longer pays the same rate. When this happens, parents may begin wondering what child support options are at their disposal. After all, it can become difficult to either continue meeting the required monthly payments or otherwise supporting the child on an income that has changed.