CHILD SUPPORT

ESTABLISHING AND COLLECTING CHILD SUPPORT

In Pennsylvania, parents of responsible for the financial (as well as the physical and emotional) well-being of their children. From birth to through their eighteenth birthday or emancipation, children have the right to support. When parents are not living together, each may be assigned a child support obligation by court order to meet the financial needs of their children.


Child support is broadly calculated using the earning capacity of both parents. Earning capacity is generally what a parent is able to earn at his/her job. A parent's earning capacity may fluctuate over a child's life, and the parents’ child support obligation will similarly change.


The child support obligation is set by regulations in Pennsylvania. The regulations assign a total child support amount based on the number of children, and the combined income of both parents. Expenses relating to childcare and activities may also be included in the child support order, as well as medical expenses for the children. As a general rule responsibilities are calculated by the proportion of each parent’s contribution to the combined total.


Child support awards also reflects the reality of the costs of physical custody of the child. A child support award may deviate upward or downward. For example, if a parent has little or no contact with the child, that parent might be required to pay a higher amount of child support. Conversely, parents who share custody of their child may have a lower child support obligation. Child support orders will also include a requirement for one parent to be responsible for medical insurance for the child, usually when it is available through employment.


An action for support is started in the county Court of Common Pleas Domestic Relations Office. A parent begins the action by filing a complaint, which is served on the other parent. If there is a dispute regarding paternity of the child, the court may order DNA testing to resolve the issue. The parties must then produce information regarding their income at a conference in the domestic relations office, where a conference officer will determine the proposed amount of support. If a party disagrees with the amount determined by the conference officer, a hearing before a master or the court may be requested.


Although at first it appears to be a simple formula calculation, the amount and responsibility for child support may require that you seek the services of an attorney able to help you navigate the system. Issues may arise as to earning capacity, changes in income, sources of income other than employment, any of which can complicate the calculation.


An attorney in both help you protect your rights and make sure that the amount of child support you pay or you receive is correct. An attorney may also be able to help you decide when to ask the court to modify a support obligation when you're income changes. your content that you can fill up with as many words as your heart desires. You can write articles, long mission statements, company policies, executive profiles, company awards/distinctions, office locations, shareholder reports, whitepapers, media mentions and other pieces of content that don’t fit into a shorter, more succinct space.


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