Under Pennsylvania law, a child’s parents are both required to provide financial support to the child to the extent they are able. This is true regardless of whether a parent ever married the other parent of the child or whether a parent shares custody, has visitation rights, or is even involved in the child’s life at all. Child support will be set at a monthly rate and is payable until the child reaches the age of 18 (or longer if the child has a disability). Over the years, the total amount of child support paid can add up to many thousands of dollars, so it is critical for mothers, fathers, and children to make sure that a fair and just child support award is reached at the outset. The child support attorneys at The Martin Law Firm will represent you in your child support matter to make sure that your interests are fully represented and a just outcome is reached.
Determining Child Support
The amount of child support a parent should be expected to provide, either in the form of direct care of a child or payment to a custodial parent, is based on the proportion of the incomes between the two parents and the child’s overall reasonable needs. A court will compute these amounts and may also incorporate in the following factors:
- The needs of the parents and children
- Other support/financial obligations
- All sources of income between the parents and other assets
- The standard of living of the parents and children
- The best interests of the children
Again, because child support orders can stay in effect for as long as 18 years, it is critical that you are able to put forth your best arguments regarding support obligations in order to protect your interests.
Modifying a Child Support Order
In order to later modify (or, in limited cases, terminate) a child support order either upwards or downwards, a paying or receiving parent will need to show that there has been “changed circumstances” justifying a modification of the order. A changed circumstance could include the loss or gain of a job, a pay cut or pay increase by either parent, or increased needs on the part of a child such as medical care or education.
Collecting Child Support From a Delinquent Parent
When one parent consistently does not pay his or her support obligations, the other parent can go to court to enforce a support award by taking such action as attaching the other parent’s wages or placing him or her in contempt of court. Our attorneys will take all steps necessary to help you in enforcing a support award.
Enforcing a Child Support Order From Another State
Even where you received a child support award in another state, we can help you enforce that award (and even modify that award if need be) in Pennsylvania through the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (“UIFSA”). By doing so, Pennsylvania will take jurisdiction over your child support award and enforce the order.
The Martin Law Firm | Child Support Lawyers
At The Martin Law Firm, our family law attorneys have the experience and commitment to client service necessary to help you in navigating all issues related to child support, child custody, and other matters of family law. Whether you are a party requesting or receiving child support, or a party from whom child support is or has been sought, we will zealously represent your rights and defend your interests in all child support matters.