Both parents have an obligation to support their child(ren) based upon their respective incomes, earning capacities, assets and abilities. You do not need to be divorced from the parent of your child to receive child support.
Pennsylvania employs statutory guidelines to determine child support. The guidelines can be found at 231 Pa.Code Rule 1910.16 -4 A look at the rule shows that the Support guidelines are in the form of a grid, with combined adjusted net income down the vertical axis and number of children across the horizontal axis The State, thus, looks at the income of each parent, the number of children owed support, presumes a certain number of overnights with a non- primary parent, and comes up with an amount of support that should be paid. That amount then is apportioned to each parent based upon their respective incomes and contributions to the children’s expenses.What Does a Court Consider When Awarding Support?
The Guidelines are income and not expense based. Many factors go into determining child support. Income is not always what is on a tax return or 1099. A court will consider the following factors in awarding support:
Needs of the child/children
Financial Factors – “Income”
- Wages, salary, fees, and commissions of each parent
- Net income from businesses or investments properties
- Interest, rents, royalties, and dividends
- Income from estates or trusts
- Alimony that a party may be receiving
- Child support that a party may be receiving or paying for other children
- Social security benefits, disability benefits, worker’s compensation, and un-employment compensation
We work with families to encourage them to see child support as an essential responsibility and a continuing obligation. We will negotiate a support agreement for our clients when they are amenable. We believe that when the parties craft their own agreement, it “feels better” and is more likely to be enforced.
Circumstances can increase or decrease a child support amount. Parents can get a promotion or lose a job. Children may develop special needs. Custody arrangements may change. If a support order is in place, we will remind you periodically to review it to ensure that you are paying/receiving the right amount.
Because of the formulaic nature of the Support Guidelines, but the not always clear-cut nature of your case, it is important to speak with an attorney about Child Support
Contact us to learn more.