In a divorce involving children, one of the issues that will have to be addressed is child support. Regardless of the arrangements for child custody, both parents are responsible for the financial needs of the children. Before the divorce proceedings are finalized, you and your ex-spouse will have to reach an agreement for child support that meets the requirements for the well-being of your children now and in the future. With the assistance of Ilkhanoff & Silverstein, you can make sure you aren’t over-burdened in caring for your children and that they have the finances necessary to enjoy life. Contact our experienced divorce mediation attorneys to discuss your legal matter.
Guidelines for Child Support in PA
The primary goal of child support is to allow the child to maintain their standard of living that they were used to before the divorce. Child support payments can be put towards any expense that may be associated with the child, including housing, food, entertainment, school fees, and extracurricular activities. The court will determine the amount of child support based on several criteria, including:
- Income of non-custodial parent
- Income of custodial parent
- Age of children
- Financial requirements of children
Child Support Enforcement
It happens all too often that the non-custodial parent falls behind on payments or even stops making payments altogether. If you are struggling to get your ex-spouse to fulfill their financial obligations to your children, you may have to go to court to see your needs met. Pennsylvania has an agency to deal with those who are delinquent in child support payments. The Bureau of Child Support Enforcement resolves matters related to child support, including the establishment of paternity and getting court orders for child support.
If the other parent of your child is absent and cannot be located, actions can be taken to find the parent so that support orders can be enforced. One of the orders that can be issued with the assistance of our firm is an income withholding order that directs an employer to deduct child support payments from the other parent’s paycheck for current support, unpaid support from the past, and related fees.
The maximum amount of income that can be withheld (garnished) is 50 percent for a parent that has another family to support and 60 percent for those who do not have another family to support. If there are overdue payments, the garnishment can be increased by 5 percent, in cases in which payments have not been made for 12 weeks or longer.
If this is unsuccessful, the “Insurance Intercept Program” may be necessary. It allows for insurance settlement money to be accessed to pay child support that is in arrears, including injury awards and workers’ compensation awards higher than $5,000. At our firm, we often serve as counsel to resolve unpaid child support issues through the various levels of legal pressure geared to get results.
If a noncustodial parent continues to fail to pay court-ordered support, they may face some of the following consequences:
- Bank accounts being seized
- A charge of civil contempt
- Tax refunds being seized
- Driver’s licenses and other licenses being suspended
- Passports being denied
Modifying Child Support
The reasons to modify the amount of child support payments in York are generally based on the fact that both parents are responsible for the upbringing and material well-being of their children. If the paying parent gets a raise or another increase in income, the custodial parent will often seek an increase in the payment so that the children can enjoy a higher standard of living. Another common reason for an increase is a change in the child’s life which requires more money, such as medical treatments. There are also cases when the paying parent seeks a reduction in payment. If the parent has lost their job or has other circumstances arise which amount to objective reasons they cannot pay, the court will often agree to lessen that parent’s financial responsibility.
A Child Support Mediator Can Help
Our firm often encourages mediation over litigation because we find that mediation can save you time, money, and stress. When you hire a child support mediator, you and your spouse agree to air your grievances and make a compromise that works for you both with the help of an unbiased, third-party mediator. Essentially, this mediator will work to facilitate civil, productive discussion regarding the terms of your child custody. Many individuals are relieved to learn that by hiring a divorce mediator, you give yourself a chance to settle contested matters of divorce, including child custody, outside of the courtroom setting. When the process is successful, our clients can walk away from their divorce knowing their voice was heard. If you think a divorce mediator can help you, please do not hesitate to speak with our firm. We are here to help.
Contact a Pennsylvania Child Support Attorney
With more than 40 years of experience in trial litigation, an attorney from Ilkhanoff & Silverstein can help you enforce the court’s child support order to ensure your children have the wherewithal they need to be happy and healthy. Additionally, if you seek to avoid the litigation process and need representation in child support issues, contact an experienced divorce mediation attorney at Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today.