Areas of Practice
THE BASICS OF PENNSYLVANIA CHILD SUPPORT
One of the most stressful sides of a divorce today is often not just child custody, but child support. Support orders are placed by the courts to ensure that a child is able to receive the best possible level of care after a divorce, but this aspect of divorce often leads to hurt feelings, anger, and much more. As such, taking a look at the basics of Pennsylvania child support is very important.
Under Pennsylvania law, no preference is shown based upon gender when it comes to custody or child support. The best interests of the child are considered and the courts issue their orders based on this – if the parents themselves can’t come to an agreement.
Once that custody has been established, the Pennsylvania legal system uses basic formulas that determine what a child support order will be. In general, a few different factors will have an impact on what the child support amount will be. These include the following.
- Number of children involved
- Number of days children live with each parent
- The income of each parent
- Special care costs such as child care expenses, insurance, and more
Using that information – gathered from each parent – the courts will review the situation and use the pre-determined formula to enter the child support order. Once it has been finalized, the parent ordered to pay must do so or face major repercussion that could include jail sentences.
It’s worth mentioning again that in many instances, couples are able to negotiate a child support amount that they both feel is fair without having to go through the courts. Negotiating child support amounts can be difficult, however, and as such most who decide to do so will need a good attorney to help them through the process and ensure that they get the best possible results.
An attorney can help you understand more about what kind of child support you may be likely to pay and help negotiate a child support agreement between you and your spouse if you feel that this is a possibility. No matter the situation, they can help you during this process and make it easier for you to move through a divorce, establish child support, and then pick up the pieces of your life and move on with dignity.
Divorce can be incredibly difficult, and even more difficult when children are involved. Knowing these basic points of child support can help you prepare for the process and know what to expect.