If you and your ex-partner or spouse are working on a child support agreement, you may have many questions. It’s normal to wonder how much support is fair, how long you’ll have to pay it and what happens if your circumstances change.
The good news is that it’s fairly easy to find the answers to these questions, though the specific factors of your case will influence the total child support obligations you face. Here are four common questions people ask and the answers for those living in Pennsylvania.
- How does the state determine how much child support is needed?
Pennsylvania has child support guidelines that are used to determine how much child support will be paid. Those guidelines attempt to come up with a reasonable amount of compensation that is acceptable for the parent who pays and that will support the child in need.
- Do parents pay child support until their children turn 18?
It depends. Sometimes, parents pay longer than that or for less time. For example, child support payments are paid until a child graduates from high school or turns 18 in most cases. However, if a child is emancipated, then support stops. If they are living with a disability, then support may continue into adulthood.
- Does child support end if you don’t work?
Not always. While it may not be much, most courts will require you or the other parent to continue paying support each month even if you have no income. If you lose your job or are demoted to a lower-paying position, you can request a child support modification to reduce the burden on your finances.
- Is there any way to estimate how much support will be paid?
If you and your ex-spouse or partner use the child support estimator tool, you may be able to determine what a judge would ask one of you to pay in support. Remember, you can agree to a different amount outside court if you wish.
These may not be the only questions you have. Your attorney can help if you are concerned about other issues with your child support, like late payments or paternity concerns.