When a couple divorces, there are several legal matters to have to be addressed. After child custody is decided, the court must then determine child support. Child support, set by the court, is payments that a non-custodial parent is required to make to the custodial parent. This is so that they may continue to care for their child after the divorce. In the state of Pennsylvania, both parents are required to financially assist their child until they are emancipated.
How Are Child Support Payments Decided?
When a court determines child support payments, they try to maintain the standard of living that the child was used to before the divorce. These payments can be used for all matters regarding the child. This may include housing, food, entertainment, schooling, extracurricular activities, and more. The court determines the payment amount based on several factors. This may include:
- The income of the non-custodial parent
- The income of the custodial parent
- The age of the children
- Any financial requirements of the children
Enforcing Child Support
There are some cases in which a non-custodial parent falls behind on payments or ignores the responsibility entirely. In the event of this, Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Child Support Enforcement works to correct the issue. This may involve court orders for child support. One order that may be issued is an income withholding order. This mandates that an employer takes child support payments out of the parent’s paycheck for any current and past unpaid support. If this is unsuccessful, the “Insurance Intercept Program” is available. This makes insurance settlement money accessible to parents in order to pay child support.
If a parent does not pay their share of support payments, they may face certain consequences. This can include:
- A charge of civil contempt
- Seizing bank accounts and tax refunds
- Suspension of a drivers license
- Passports being denied
Sometimes, a parent’s financial situation may change while they are paying child support. If a parent’s financial status changes, child support payments can be modified so that they better suit the parent’s new circumstances. There are some cases in which an increase in payments may be necessary. Other times, a reduction in payments may be necessary. An increase may be requested if the parent receives a raise or increase in income. It may also be required if a child needs more money for medical treatments. A reduction may be required if a parent loses their job. If a parent requests a reduction in child support payments, it may only be approved if they can prove a significant change in their ability to meet support payments.
Contact our Firm
If you or a family member is seeking representation for a child support case, contact the Law Offices of Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today.
The divorce process can be challenging, but our team at Ilkhanoff & Silverstein are dedicated to fighting for your best interests. Since 1999, our York divorce lawyers have guided our clients through this emotional and stressful time with compassionate client service and results-driven legal counsel.