Pittsburgh Child Support Attorney - Allegheny County Child Support
Child Support Guidelines
child support is governed by a fairly rigid set of guidelines
which set forth a recommended amount of child support based
on the respective net monthly income of the parties. Once the net incomes of both parents are established, the number of children
is included, and after factoring in certain additional expenses and deducting others, a monthly guideline amount
of support is calculated.
amount will then be further divided by the percentage of overnight by custody each parent. The parent receiving child
support is called the obligee,
and the parent paying child support is referred to as the obligor.
recently, in August 2013 the guidelines were revised to include changes to the minimum reserve amount and
amended figures for support.
guidelines are set forth in P.a.R.C.P. 1910-16.3 and include figures for combined net monthly income up to $30,000.
for Child Support
Any parent seeking child support through the court may initiate the process by filing a complaint for child support. Child support may also be requested in a divorce complaint. Thereafter, a child support conference and/or child support hearing will
be scheduled, during which the parties will go to the family court facility to formally address the support amount.
Payment of Child Support - Receipt
of Child Support
The amount of child
support owed begins to accrue from the date on which the support complaint is filed. This may be several weeks prior to the
conference or support hearing. Accordingly, if you have been served with a support complaint you may make direct payments
to the obligee to minimize the amount of arrears owed at the date of the conference/hearing. If there is an overpayment the
arrears may be credited to reflect the overpayment.
Once a support
Order has been established the obligor will generallybe wage attached and child support owed will be deducted directly from
the obligor's pay. If the obligor is self employed or until a wage attachment is entered, the person paying child support will
need to make all child support payments directly to Pennsylvania
State Collection and Disbursement Unit ("PASCDU"). Once an Order for support is in place, no payments should be
made directly to the obligee.
Just as the support payments are made to
PASCDU, the payments to the obligee will also be disbursed by PASCDU. The parent receiving child support may have the money
deposited directly into a checking account, or they may receive an "EPPI-Card" which is like a debit card, where
payments will be added.
To review your support case on-line and to
review the status of any payments or arrears you may set up a user account with the Pennsylvania Child Support and Enforcement System ("PACSES").
which affect the amount of Child Support
Except in rare cases, if the parents share physical custody of the child, the higher wage earning parent will be responsible for providing the lower wage earning
parent with child support.
The amount of support owed can be affected by the custodial time each parent has, in that there may be a downward deviation
in the amount of support owed if the parents have shared physical custody or if the obligor has substantial custody time. Otherwise,
the primary custodial parent will generally receive child support from the other parent. Various factors can have an impact on the ultimate
award of support.
For example, child care and
health care costs can be included in the amount of child support payments, and are often calculated in proportion to the respective incomes
of the parties. In addition, if the parent paying support has other children for whom they are paying support, the amount due may be reduced.
Also, the total percentage of child support payments may not exceed a certain percentage of the obligor’s income.
Duration of Child Support
The obligation to pay child support
is not dischargeable once it has been established, and will be owed
until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school (or perhaps longer if the child is disabled).
The amount of child support may be modified
if there is a significant change in circumstances, including the loss of a job, injury or disability of the obligor. An increase in wages by either parent provides the basis for seeking a modification
of the amount of child support. However, a voluntary reduction in earnings or self-removal from the workforce will not be considered factors
in reducing the amount of child support. In the instance where one parent is either not
working, or is underemployed, an earning capacity may be imputed by the court.
we can assist you
If you need help getting child support from the other parent of your
child we can help. If you are currently receiving child support but believe you should be getting more based on a material change in the circumstances
we may be able to assist you. If you are currently paying child support and have a reduction in income which was beyond your control, we may be able
to obtain a modification of the amount of support you owe.
Things to remember
of the circumstances, dealing with child support is very difficult for the families involved. The main thing to consider is that the guidelines
for child support are in place to provide for the basic needs of the dependant children.