Child support is a family law topic that may accompany a Pennsylvania divorce. Like dividing up property and planning child custody arrangements, establishing financial support parameters for a child might be required of two parents when they choose to dissolve their relationship. However, even though many child support cases arise from divorces, child support disputes may also occur after divorces are finalized or between parents who never formalized their relationships in marriage.
It is not uncommon for individuals to have questions about child support when they anticipate changes in their relationships with their kids’ other parents. Proactive consultation with a knowledgeable family law attorney can provide a parent with case-specific guidance and information that is relevant to their unique child support case. Attorneys can give their clients legal advice, and readers are reminded that this post offers no advice or guidance.
After reviewing the information provided in this post, readers are encouraged to follow up with their trusted legal counselors. These 3 important child support questions may serve as an introduction to this nuanced and sometimes complex topic.
How Much Money Do Parents Pay in Child Support?
Pennsylvania child support determinations are based on a set of guidelines that courts may utilize to decide how much money the parents should provide. Both of a child’s parents are expected to provide support to their care and well-being, and generally the non-custodial parent will provide money to the custodial parent to assist in the process of paying for the child’s needs.
When evaluating what a parent’s support obligation should be a court may look at many factors. Those factors may include but are not limited to the amount of money that they and their co-parent make, the number of children that they are expected to support, and the amount of time that they will have custodial authority over the child or children. Child support computations involve many values and can yield different payment amounts based on the factors relevant to individual support cases.
What Can Child Support Payments Be Used For?
There are very few restrictions that the Pennsylvania guidelines put on what or how child support money may be used for regarding raising a child. Child support can be used for paying for housing or food, providing the child with clothing and shoes, and other costs related to basic needs. If a custodial parent works, they child support may be used to cover the costs of day care expenses. Child support may be used to pay for a child’s medical costs, educational expenses, or even extracurricular fees.
When Do Child Support Payments Stop?
Child support generally ends when a child becomes an adult at the age of 18. However, if a child is still in high school when they turn 18 the end of their child support payments may come once they graduate. Not all children, though, are capable of self-sufficiency once they reach maturity. Children with mental and physical needs may continue to receive child support into adulthood.
These general answers should give readers a good overview of some of the many issues that they may confront when they begin their own child support cases. Their attorneys can support them and help them make good decisions about their options and family law needs.