Pittsburgh Child Support Lawyers
Pittsburgh Child Support Attorneys
In Pennsylvania, child support is payable until a child reaches eighteen years old or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. If a child is physically or mentally disabled, child support could be payable for a longer period of time. The amount of child support that is payable in a Pennsylvania child support case is based upon the monthly after-tax incomes or earning capacities of the child’s parents.
Who Is Required to Pay Child Support in PA?
Each parent is obligated to provide financial support for their children as long as they have parental rights of their children. Child support will typically be payable until the children either graduate from high school or until they reach the age of eighteen, whichever happens later. However, if you have a child with special needs, child support could be required for an extended period of time.
In the majority of cases, the noncustodial parent, or the one with whom the children do not primarily reside, will be the one to pay child support to the parent with whom the children do primarily reside. If you share physical custody of your children, this may not be the case, and the Pennsylvania courts will take your child custody arrangement into consideration when determining what your child support arrangement will amount to.
How Is Child Support Calculated in PA?
Before the monthly child support payment can be calculated, the state will need to determine both parents’ monthly incomes. Income for Pennsylvania support purposes includes:
- Overtime pay
- Rental income
- Retirement income
- Social Security retirement or disability payments
- Workers’ compensation
- Unemployment compensation
- Income from an interest in a business
- Entitlements to lump sum awards such as lottery winnings
If a person has unreported income such as tips or is paid “under the table”, this income is also considered in the support calculations. Furthermore, if a person does not have any income, but is capable of working, the parent may be assessed with an earning capacity that is equivalent to what that person could earn given their education, skills and prior employment history.
Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines
Once the parents’ monthly net incomes are calculated, PA child support laws require the Family Courts to apply the Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines to determine the amount of support payable for the children. The PA Child Support Guidelines are formulas that consider the income of the parents and the number of children, amongst other factors. In addition to the Pennsylvania Support Guideline amount, an order for child support may also require payment of a portion of other costs such as medical coverage for the dependent spouse and/or children, medical expenses not covered by insurance, and day care costs incurred while the custodial parent is working or going to school. Child support may be established below the Guidelines for PA child support if the parents have shared physical custody or the payor has other children to support.
In some cases, a child support order may be combined in an order with an amount payable for spousal support, APL, or alimony and may also include provisions regarding payment of the mortgage on a marital home and/or health insurance. If a combined order for child and spousal support, APL, or alimony is entered, there may be significant federal tax consequences if an unallocated order is entered by the court. Please consult with a tax professional for additional advice in this situation.
Contact Our Pittsburgh Child Support Attorneys Today
Our Pittsburgh child support attorneys have represented hundreds of parents fighting for a fair child support order. There’s many reasons why we’re different that many other Allegheny County child support lawyers and why you should hire us. One reason is because we welcome complex child support cases involving high income cases, hidden income, or complicated tax issues.
Email our Pittsburgh child support attorneys or call our PA child support law firm in Pittsburgh at 412-281-9906, Southpointe (Canonsburg, Washington County) at 724-436-5500, Cranberry Township (Butler County, PA) at 724-776-9906, Clearfield County at 814-290-0587 or toll-free at 1-844-VARI-LAW.
Appointments may also be available in other meeting locations throughout Pennsylvania upon advance arrangements with our office. Ask the secretary scheduling your appointment for details including appointment locations. Our Pittsburgh law firm is open Monday – Friday from 8 am – 5 pm