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Pennsylvania's Updated Child Support Guidelines

In Pennsylvania, filing for child support can be easy as long as you follow the state guidelines. The parent with custody of the child or children provides information on the noncustodial parent. If the parents are not married, then the mother has to establish paternity. Once that's completed, both parents will be required to attend court hearings to determine child support.

Child support is handled through each county's Domestic Relations Section (DRS), which will assign a caseworker to help the parents guide the child support action through the courts to a successful resolution. Both parents attend a support conference, where income is discussed. Pennsylvania child support guidelines were developed with the idea that children will receive the same amount of support from their parents no matter their situation (divorced, single or separated).

The guidelines require that the needs of the child be met first. Frequently, the noncustodial parent is the chief wage earner and is required to pay a percentage of his or her net pay to help provide for the child. If medical expenses are required, then the paying parent will pay up to five percent of net income.

Once the child support amount is determined, a support order is issued detailing the payments and how often they are paid, including the medical support. In the case of more than one child, then the total payment is divided.

The decision can be appealed by the paying parent, but failure to obey the decision and make timely payments could result in serious consequences, including prison.

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Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines

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Gregory R. Gifford
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