Understanding Pennsylvania Child Support – Advice from A Philadelphia Divorce Lawyer

The state of Pennsylvania’s laws are extremely clear when it comes to the issue of paying child support. Any person who is a parent of a child, whether married or not, is held responsible for providing for that child’s financial needs. Unfortunately, issues surrounding the payment of child support are often fraught with difficulties, as some parents try to minimize the amount that they need to pay and another parent may overestimate the amount that is owed. In order to resolve this issue, the state has established specific guidelines that take into account a variety of factors, including the monthly income of each parent, the amount of time that the child spends in each parent’s home, the number of children involved, and more.  In some situations, parents are able to come to an agreement that satisfies all concerned, and in other instances child support discussions can become extremely contentious. In all circumstances it is best to have the experienced voice of a Philadelphia divorce lawyer who can ensure that your rights and the rights of your child are being protected. For advice and guidance on Pennsylvania child support, call the lawyers at Erik B. Jensen Attorneys at Law.

Pennsylvania’s laws require parents to provide financial support until their child has reached the age of eighteen or graduates from high school, whichever comes after, and if a child has a disability the support period may be extended beyond that time due to the greater economic burden. Though a parent may attempt to minimize their income in an effort to reduce their support responsibilities, the state is very specific in what it includes in income, and will also give consideration to earnings capacity based on education, skills and prior income history. The Pennsylvania child support guidelines include all of the following when calculating a parents’ income:

  • Wages
  • Salary
  • Overtime
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Interest
  • Rental income
  • Retirement income
  • Social Security retirement or disability payments
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Income from an interest in a business
  • Lottery winnings and other lump sump awards
  • Unreported income such as tips

In determining the appropriate amount that a parent is required to pay in child support for a child, the income of both parents are reported and calculated and then input into a formula that also accounts for the number of children. Expenses such as medical coverage or day care costs may also be calculated separately, and in cases where income levels either fall below or above the numbers provided within the guidelines, special accommodations can be made.

Though providing appropriate support for their child may be an issue that all parents would seem to hold as a top priority, that is not always the case. If you need help getting the appropriate child support for your child, or your ex-spouse is not paying the amount that they have been ordered to pay, call the Pennsylvania child support lawyers at Erik B. Jensen Attorneys at Law.

Learn more about Pennsylvania Child Support HERE.