Pittsburgh PA Child Support Attorney - Child Support Lawyer - Allegheny Co.
If you're a single parent raising a child in Pittsburgh, you're
entitled to receive child support. If you're married but living separate from your spouse you are entitled to support.
Whether you're employed, unemployed or disabled; even if you earn enough to make ends meet, PA law provides a framework for
a custodial parent to receive financial assistance from the other parent.
Pennsylvania says that a child
is entitled to support from both parents. If you have primary custody or shared custody but earn less than the other
parent you can obtain child support. Filing for support in PA is free and you don't need a lawyer to file.
You don't need a lawyer to handle your child support case, but if you choose to hire one, we handle child support
conferences and hearings throughout Allegheny County and can help you to navigate through the process.
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.
To file for child support (if you live in Allegheny
County) you can go to the main child support office Downtown in the Allegheny Building at 429 Forbes Avenue. The support office
is located in suite 210 and is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 am - 2:00 pm. You can also file for support downtown at
"night court" every Wednesday between 4:30 pm and 7:00 pm in Family Court Building located at 440 Ross Street.
For residents living in the South Hills, a complaint for
support may be filed at the Mt. Lebanon satellite office located at 250 Mt. Lebanon Blvd, Suite 200, Pittsburgh, PA 15234.
By February 2014 residents of the East Suburbs will be able to utilize the Penn Hills satellite office for support filing.
Filing a support complaint is free. You simply
need to bring documentation with your social security number and the ssn's for your children; medical insurance cards, or
copies of the cards and a photo i.d. Link to view and print a Child Support Complaint form.
To contact the Court directly with support related questions you can call (412) 350-5600 Monday - Thursday: 9:00
am - Noon and 1:00 - 3:00 pm and Friday: 9:00 am - Noon.
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.
What do the Support Guidelines Include?
Pennsylvania uses the "income shares model" for its support
guidelines. This model attempts to provide children of divorced, separated or non-married parents with the same amount of
money for living as if they lived in a family with both biological parents.
The guidelines contemplate funds for: housing, food, transportation,
clothing and "other miscellaneous expenses as well as the first $250 dollars of unreimbursed medical expenses per child.
Not included in the guidelines are items such as medical coverage, extra-curricular activities, day-care and private school
tuition. Additional funds for these items may be added to a support award.
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
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.
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.
Regardless 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.