In the Spotlight: Child Support
Generally speaking, parents have an obligation to financially support their children.
Pennsylvania law is based on the belief that both parties should be contributing towards the costs associated with the care of their children in proportion to their respective incomes.
If the parties are unable to reach an agreement regarding the appropriate amount of child support, it may be necessary for a conference or hearing with the parties to address their child support claims. At the time of that conference, various factors, including the parties’ income, their custody schedule, and additional expenses of the children can be addressed.
Following the parties’ conference or hearing, the Court may enter an Order directing the appropriate amount of support to be paid. The obligation to provide child support generally ends when the child reaches age 18 or graduates high school.
While the Court has established child support guidelines to assist in determining the appropriate amount of support to be paid, this amount can be subject to change over time.
However, the mere passage of time is only one of many reasons which could prompt a modification of support.
There may be an increase or decrease in income over time. A party may experience a job loss or a significant promotion. Some parties receive a bonus income as a significant portion of their annual take-home pay but this amount can vary wildly from year to year. Any of these changes to the parties’ respective incomes may warrant a modification.
In addition, other changes may likewise be the basis for a modification of support such as the parties’ custody schedule.
Other changes to the child’s expenses may warrant an adjustment to the child support obligation including things such as changes to the children’s healthcare costs, tuition costs, and other extraordinary expenses
Following the presentation of the parties’ cases and submission of their applicable documentation and information, the Court can make a determination as to what the Child Support Order should be at that time.
Our family law attorneys can assist you in presenting your case for a Modification of Support related to your changing circumstances as well as the needs of you and your child.