Pennsylvania family laws offer strict guidelines that require the noncustodial parent -- i.e., the parent with whom the children do not live -- to pay child support to the custodial parent. This financial support is intended to assist the custodial parent to pay for housing, food, entertainment and other costs associated with raising and caring for the children.
When a family law judge issues an order to pay child support, the order becomes law. Failure to comply with that law means that the offending party could be in contempt of court, which can result in steep fines, wage garnishment and even jail time. A judge can also suspend the negligent parent's professional licenses, and the parent may face criminal charges.
Pennsylvania courts will usually issue a child support award in favor of the "custodial parent" to be paid by the "noncustodial parent." The custodial parent is the parent with whom the children live, and the noncustodial parent is the parent who has visitation rights. This child support payment is meant to benefit the child to ensure that he or she is well taken care of and there's enough money to go around for the custodial parent.
If a court ordered you to pay child support to your ex-spouse, you could be paying anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars a month. Regardless of how you feel about the support or whether you think the amount you owe is just, these payments will probably represent a significant financial burden on you, and you're probably wondering when you'll be free of your obligation to pay them.
Imagine you have to pay $700 monthly in child support, but last month you lost your job. You don't know where your next paycheck is going to come from, and you're worried about not being able to make your next child support payment. If you're facing a situation like this, it's important that you act fast. If you follow the right legal protocol, you might be able to get a temporary reduction in your child support obligations.
Child support is intended to help the custodial parent of a child pay for various expenses related to raising the child. As such, parents are only supposed to spend child support money on their children. Normally, the court does not require parents to document or show their expenses in this regard; however, in cases of suspected neglect or suspected dishonesty on the part of the custodial parent, a court might ask the parent to show a record of his or her childcare expenditures.
Pennsylvania parents who are divorcing with children may want to learn about our state's child support guidelines. For example, whether you are going to receive or pay child support, it's important to note that child support requirements will usually endure until a child is 18 years of age, or older in cases where the child has yet to finish high school or has a mental or physical disability.
Parents involved in child custody cases usually also find themselves discussing child support. When child support payments become delinquent, the recipient has the right to recover those payments, especially if the agreement has yet to expire. So, how does one go about recovering delinquent child support payments?