Child support in Pennsylvania is usually court-ordered and is there to help with the costs of raising a child. In the Pennsylvania child support laws, both parents are considered to be financially responsible for the upbringing of a minor child and they expect the non-custodial parent to make regular child support payments until the child reaches the age of 18.
However, the payments can be extended until a later time if the child goes to college or has a physical or psychological disability that requires long-term care of some sort.
Pennsylvania Child Support Laws – Getting Started
Getting started with child support payments is easy because the state’s Domestic Relations office can help you fill out the required Application for Child Support that is needed to begin the process. There are other ways to get the process started but filling out and submitting this application is the easiest way to do so. The Domestic Relations office can also help locate a non-custodial parent, establish paternity, establish support obligations, collect and distribute child support payments, and even enforce this arrangement.
As you can see, the state provides numerous resources to help you receive the child support payments that you deserve. You can contact their Bureau of Child Support Enforcement hotline at 800-932-0211 with any questions or concerns you might have.
PA Child Support Laws – How the Amount Is Calculated
Child support payments are calculated according to a table of guidelines that is used with each case but the amount can vary from parent to parent because each case is looked at as an individual case separate from all of the rest. To calculate this amount, the state takes a look at the parents’ incomes, daycare expenses, medical costs, and any Social Security benefits that the child might be receiving. They also consider the child’s living arrangements. In Pennsylvania, a judge is assigned to review the child support payment every four years to determine if any changes need to be made to the original agreement.
Furthermore, even if the non-custodial parent isn’t working, he or she may still be required to pay child support if that’s what the judge decides will be best. Included in child support payments are things such as extracurricular activities, education expenses, the costs associated with visitation travel, and any extraordinary medical expenses that might apply to the child. These and other expenses are looked at by the judge when a final child support dollar amount is designated.
If you have questions or concerns about your child support payments, you can contact the local Domestic Relations office for assistance. To locate the nearest office, visit the website https://www.humanservices.state.pa.us/csws/CSWS_controller.aspx?PageId=CSWS/offices.ascx.
Pennsylvania Child Support Laws – Some Details for Your Convenience
In most cases, child support must continue until the child reaches the age of 18 but this can be changed in certain situations. In Pennsylvania, some of the other things the state takes into consideration when determining the appropriate amount of child support are:
- The child’s age
- Other household income (disability payments, workers’ compensation payments, etc.)
- Medical expenses that aren’t covered by insurance
- The standard of living
- Unusual needs and/or fixed obligations
- Other support obligations
- Parents’ assets and liabilities
- Miscellaneous expenses, such as anything that pertains to the child’s best interests
The state recognizes that all minor children deserve adequate financial support each month but they also realize that certain circumstances can prevent parents from being able to pay huge sums of money for their child support payments. This is why all things are taken into consideration so that the best decision can be made in the end. This should be a fair decision that will both provide for the child’s needs and not make too much of a strain on the non-custodial parent’s financial situation.
Health insurance is a must for minor children and the courts always make sure that at least one parent is able to include the child on his or her policy. In a shared custody arrangement, the judge may order each parent to pay one-half of the insurance premium. Even uninsured expenses, such as copays and deductibles, may be required from both parents of a minor child.
Estimating Your Child Support Payments
The state of Pennsylvania makes it easy for you to calculate the estimated payment amount that you are to pay or receive and the form used is found online. Before you visit the site and start plugging in numbers, it is good to have all of the required information on hand first. This includes salaries, expenses, insurance amounts, daycare expenses, etc. This will make it easier and faster to get the estimated amount but it is good to keep in mind that these are only estimates and may not reflect what you end up paying in the end.
If the non-custodial parent refuses to pay child support or quits working so that he or she doesn’t have the income to pay it, the state can step in and help you get the support you need. Even in these circumstances, the state keeps track of how much money the parent owes so that you can work with them and go after that parent when you’re ready.
In fact, if a non-custodial parent willfully disobeys the court order and chooses not to pay child support, he or she can be fined up to $1000 or even get jail time. This is a crime that the state takes seriously and they have many legal ways to help you get the child support that you need and deserve. If you need additional information on child support, you can take a look at Pennsylvania’s divorce laws at https://www.divorcenet.com/states/pennsylvania.
Just as in other states, the state of Pennsylvania has an interest in the well-being of minor children who live there and this is reflected in their laws regarding child support. Child support payments from non-custodial parents are considered mandatory at least until the child reaches the age of 18. It is simple and fast to get started either paying or receiving child support because all you do is fill out a short form. In 231 Pa. Code Rule 1910.16-1, everything is spelled out in detail; therefore, getting the information you need is never difficult. Reviewing this law can help answer most of the questions that you have about child support in Pennsylvania.