Divorce has the potential to impact an entire family, especially if the couple has children together. In these cases, parents are required to determine new arrangements for their children’s future. It is important to the state of Pennsylvania to put the best interest of the child first when determining these arrangements. The goal of any divorce settlement is to ensure the child can maintain the same standard of living they were used to before the divorce. To do so, child support must be paid from one parent to another to continue financially supporting the child.
In the state of Pennsylvania, child support is determined by a judge. In doing so, the judge considers several factors relating to the family in question. This can include the income of the custodial and non-custodial parents, the age of the children in the family, and any financial requirements of the children. With this, the judge can determine a fair amount in support payments based upon what the parents can provide for their child.
Age of Emancipation
When a parent is awarded physical custody of their child, they are known as the custodial parent. This determines the individual with whom the child will spend the majority of their time. Because of this, the custodial parent has different responsibilities than the non-custodial parent. This individual is required to provide the child with basic stability. This can include a home, food, clothing, education, and more. The cost of living of a child can become expensive for one parent to take care of on their own. This is why the non-custodial parent is required to financially assist their child through child support payments. These payments are to be made until the child reaches the age of emancipation. In the state of Pennsylvania, this age is usually 18 years old.
While this is true, every family is different and is handled as such. It is because of this that support payments may not always end at a child’s 18th birthday. There are some cases in which the court will decide to make exceptions and extend payments. Payments are typically extended in situations where a child cannot yet support themselves. This may be if a child wants to pursue further education through college or trade school. In these situations, parents may not complete support payments until the child’s education ends. If a parent believes their child can provide for themselves, they can petition the court for emancipation. If the court agrees and the child is emancipated, the parent is no longer required to pay child support.
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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.