Telford Child Support
Skilled Family Law Attorneys Fight for Clients to Be Treated Fairly Under PA Child Support Laws
Child support is an obligation imposed upon a parent to provide for his or her child’s needs. Child support arises from the idea that every parent has a legal duty to care for their child regardless of where that child resides. Under Pennsylvania law, every parent is required to provide financial support to their children until the child reaches the age of 18 and graduates from high school. Although there are formulas set forth by statute and by the courts to calculate a parent’s child support obligations, in practice child support cases are not as simple as performing a mathematical calculation. Instead, many child support cases include factors that make the calculation more complicated than simply following a formula.
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The experienced child support attorneys of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. understand how important it is to you to ensure that your children are adequately provided for. We also know how important it is for each of our clients to be treated fairly by the child support laws. Child support is a serious legal obligation that cannot be ignored and is not easily disposed of. Therefore, if you are involved in child support proceedings, it is important that you have a dedicated, skilled attorney by your side who will fight to ensure that you receive fair treatment as the court determines child support obligations. Regardless of whether you are trying to seek child support, are having trouble enforcing an existing child support order, or are having problems meeting your child support obligations, our Telford, PA child support attorneys are ready to protect your interests and rights.
How Child Support Obligations Are Calculated
Contrary to perceptions, child support obligations are based on more than the parents’ respective incomes, although income is an important factor considered by the court. Instead, Pennsylvania courts consider multiple factors in calculating a child support obligation, such as:
- Each parent’s income from all sources
- The relative earning capacity of each parent, which is often more than each parent’s actual income
- The parents’ custody arrangement
- The number of children that will be subject to the child support order
- The amount of expenses the children will incur, including medical expenses, child care, tuition, and the cost of reasonable extracurricular and recreational activities
- The cost of any special needs of a child
- The child’s standard of living prior to the parents’ separation, if applicable
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In addition to income, the parents’ custody arrangement can have a significant impact on the calculation of child support. For example, the parent who does not have primary physical custody may have his or her child support obligation significantly reduced if the parents have a shared physical custody arrangement since the parent with the support obligation would already be paying for much of their child’s expenses during his or her periods of custody.
Experienced Family Lawyers Provide Dedicated Legal Representation to Clients in Child Support Matters
At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C., our child support attorneys understand that an initial determination of a child support obligation is often just a first step in a child support matter — and is a difficult step at that. That is why our legal team stands ready to help our clients through all the different aspects of the child support process, including:
- Determining the income of a self-employed parent or a parent who owns his or her own business
- Modifying existing child support orders to reflect changed circumstances in a parent’s or child’s life
- Uncovering efforts by a parent to avoid child support obligations, including attempting to hide assets or income
- Resolving paternity questions, since child support obligations can be imposed even when parents were never married
It is important to note that “income” under the child support guidelines is different from a parent’s taxable income. Instead, the guidelines require courts to add back items such as retirement contributions and other income that is not subject to taxation. In addition, a court may look beyond a parent’s actual income to determine his or her earning capacity if the court concludes that the parent is earning significantly less income than he or she should.
Contact Our Experienced Child Support Attorneys Today to Discuss Your Case
Our dedicated Telford, PA child support lawyers will help you understand the child support obligations affecting your family. We can help you obtain an initial order, enforce an existing order, or modify an order if you or your child’s circumstances have changed. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your and your child’s rights and options.
Frequently Asked Questions About Child Support
If your child’s other parent has experienced a significant increase in his or her income, you may be entitled to seek a modification of your existing child support order. Parents have a duty under the law to report income increases. Our skilled child support attorneys can help you gather the evidence you need to show that your child’s other parent has experienced a significant increase in his or her income, or that he or she has been concealing assets or income from the court. If your child’s other parent has been paying far less in child support than he or she should for an extended period, we can help you obtain a retroactive modification, which means that your child’s other parent will be obligated to make up the difference in child support they should have been paying.
Child support obligations are considered a significant legal obligation under Pennsylvania and every other state’s laws. The court is empowered to take numerous steps to enforce a child support order and obtain the funds that your child is legally entitled to, including garnishing a parent’s wages, unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation benefits, or tax refunds, reporting the delinquent parent to credit bureaus, suspend a delinquent parent’s driver’s license, or impose fines and jail time until they become current on their obligations.