Providing for the financial needs of their children is every parent’s legal responsibility. For some families, this comes in the form of child support. Child support is the funds that a parent pays to help provide food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities for their child. Whether you’re single or going through a divorce, the state of Pennsylvania has a set of guidelines that helps determine how much is owed in child support and how often the child support payments must be made.
Child support may sound like a straightforward concept, but navigating its complexities can be a challenge. Especially for those that stem from separations and divorces, conversations about child support can be a roller-coaster ride full of questions, emotions, and worries. It doesn’t have to be that way, though, if you have the guidance and assistance of a Pennsylvania child support attorney throughout the entire process.
Our team of family lawyers here at Voelker Kairys & Morris are well equipped and highly experienced in providing legal representation to individuals seeking an award of child support as well as those obligated to pay child support. We are passionate about securing your child’s future, and we do this by providing you with reliable legal assistance in family law matters such as child support cases, father’s rights cases, divorce proceedings, and child custody cases.
While Pennsylvania child support guidelines are designed to provide a rigid, numbers-based means of calculating payments, we can help you understand your situation and ensure that the amount of support awarded fits your child’s needs or your capacity to provide support. Voelker Kairys & Morris is committed to safeguarding your child’s welfare while protecting your interests as a parent.
Child Support Calculation
Here in Pittsburgh, PA, and surrounding areas, your child support amount is calculated using the Pennsylvania child support guidelines. The formula used is primarily based on how many children are in need of support and how much income the parents earn. The guidelines do, however, give some flexibility to accommodate the child(ren)’s reasonable needs, any extraordinary expenses the parents’ ability to provide child support, and other considerations.
Voelker Kairys & Morris’ strong team of child support attorneys makes sure that you are well informed and well prepared for whatever goes on in family court. We carefully study your case, run through your calculations, and provide you with professional advice, practical recommendations, and honest answers to your questions.
To ensure that your child receives the necessary support from both parents, while safeguarding your interests, our team of child support lawyers will make sure to look into the following factors before child support calculation is finalized:
The Ability of the Parents to Provide
Since the 1980s, the Pennsylvania child support guidelines have been developed and updated under the Income Shares model. They are based on the monthly income of both parents (employed or unemployed). The guidelines were designed to ensure uniformity and consistency; however, PA courts also have the discretion to make necessary modifications to child support if the arrangement causes hardship to either parent or the child.
The Needs of The Child
Besides the parents’ ability to provide, the calculation of child support in Pennsylvania is also based on the reasonable needs of the child. A support order would include support for the child’s food, clothing, shelter, health insurance, and expenses on basic education. In addition to the basic amount of support, additional support could be awarded based upon medical expenses not included in health insurance, as well as expenses for child care, visitation travel, private school tuition, or extracurricular activities
The Time Each Parent is Responsible for the Child
Parenting time directly affects child support calculation, whether you’re the one paying support or the one receiving it. In Pennsylvania, the primary custodian (the parent who the child resides with primarily) usually receives child support from the non-residential parent. If parents share custody of the children, the parent who earns less income may be entitled to receive child support. A calculation of child support may be affected by the total number of overnights the non-residential parent receives.
Child support calculation and breakdown can be a confusing and frustrating matter for you. By working closely with you, Voelker Kairys & Morris can help you understand your situation better and can help you get a support award that best considers your family’s circumstances, as well as your financial abilities and needs.
Whether you’re a non-custodial parent dealing with child support or a custodial parent seeking support for a child, Voelker Kairys & Morris is dedicated to giving you experienced and knowledgeable guidance and representation that you need. We can also help you out with other matters such as child custody, divorce, or father’s rights.
Child Support Enforcement
A child support order issued by a Pennsylvania family law judge is a legal obligation. When a parent is unable to pay, refuses to pay, or fails to pay the specified amount at the specified time, they could be subject to sanctions by the court. Nonpayment of child support is an offense that could result in civil contempt, liens against real property, suspension of licenses, seizure of bank accounts, and even incarceration.
If you’re not getting the full child support amount that you are entitled to under the law, Voelker Kairys & Morris is here to make sure that you get the money needed to secure your child or children’s welfare. If you’re struggling to meet your child support obligation, Voelker Kairys & Morris can help you as well. It’s important that you reach out to us as soon as possible so that we can step in and help you work toward a settlement or even adjust the child support obligation with your capacity to provide in mind.
Child Support Modification
Once the court has issued the child support order, specifying the specific amount to be paid, the parent who owes a duty of support is legally required to make the payment until the order is terminated or modified. A request for child support modification may be made if a parent is struggling to meet their obligations on time or at all.
Whether it’s losing a job, a change in income of either party, health concerns that affect income or earning capacity, or having another child, Pennsylvania courts have the authority to modify child support orders if either or both parents go through significant changes in their circumstances.
Here at Voelker Kairys & Morris, we have the experience and expertise to help parents who are having difficulty meeting the conditions of their court-ordered child support obligations. We also provide legal services to parents who are receiving child support but have found that the amount is no longer sufficient in providing for the needs of the child. When these changes in circumstances effect the security and welfare of the child, initiating the modification process is imperative, and Voelker Kairys & Morris can help.
Complete Family Law Firm
Having a vast family law practice that includes divorce, equitable distribution of the marital estate, child support, child custody, father’s rights, and alimony, Voelker Kairys & Morris is your complete Pittsburgh, PA family law firm. We take pride in our reputation for being ethical and fair, yet tough and sharp in any legal battle. We strive to provide every client a realistic and impartial approach to resolving legal concerns and assist them in safeguarding their family’s future.
Legal matters concerning the family are often difficult to navigate and can be fraught with emotion. If you are going through these matters you need more than qualified lawyers to help. You need compassionate and competent attorneys who can handle the pressure, work through the emotions, and dig into the details of your case to ensure that the appropriate amount of support is determined