Child Support in Pennsylvania
It is a reality that a quarter of children in the United States live in a single-parent household. Knowing just how to handle their financial needs when a family begins the divorce process can be confusing. There are complex equations used to determine a base amount of support for your children and our office can help determine what your family needs. If you are currently paying child support, we can also help evaluate your current contributions and help make adjustments if necessary.
PA support laws make it fairly simple to determine support; however, there are some instances that may allow some departure from the guidelines. If financial circumstances change, there is flexibility to adjust the plan to accommodate. If the child’s needs have changed or the paying parent has different circumstances, either parent may petition for modification.
Support Guidelines(§ 4322)
(a) Statewide guideline – Child and spousal support shall be awarded pursuant to a State wide guideline as established by general rule by the Supreme Court, so that persons similarly situated shall be treated similarly. The guideline shall be based upon the reasonable needs of the child or spouse seeking support and the ability of the obligor to provide support. In determining the reasonable needs of the child or spouse seeking support and the ability of the obligor to provide support, the guideline shall place primary emphasis on the net incomes and earning capacities of the parties, with allowable deviations for unusual needs, extraordinary expenses and other factors, such as the parties’ assets, as warrant special attention. The guideline so developed shall be reviewed at least once every four years.
(b) Rebuttable Tax reductions and exemptions are other elements that need attention regarding support. If you pay or receive support, the IRS has rules that govern what can be exempt and what should be deducted.
The age of majority in PA is now 18 or graduation from high school whichever occurs later (23 PA CS section 4321). It does not occur automatically. PA no longer recognizes a statutory cause of action for post secondary educational support. 23 Pa.C.S.A Section 4327(a) was rules unconstitutional in 1995 by the Supreme Court of PA in the Curtis vs. Kline case. However, contractually based agreements for post secondary educational support contained in marital separation agreements are enforceable.
Per PA RCP 1910.16 (c) in determining net monthly income, the following items are allowable deductions: Federal, state, and local income taxes; Federal Insurance Contributions Act (F.I.C.A.) payments and non-voluntary retirement payments; Union dues; and Alimony paid to the other party. In computing a spousal support or and alimony pendente lite (APL) obligation, the court deducts from the defendants monthly net income all of his/her child support obligations and any amounts of spousal support, alimony pendente lite, or alimony being paid to former spouses.
When you need an attorney to represent you with your legal matters, contact the Law Offices of Michael Kuldiner, P.C. in order to obtain the best results possible in each case. To arrange a consultation, please give us a call at (215) 942-2100 or contact us by submitting the form at top right.