Bryn Mawr Child Support Lawyer
After a divorce, discussing the needs of your shared children and how you will continue to provide for them is a must. Even in situations where unmarried parents move to different houses or never lived together, the needs of the children are always important. If you wish to receive child support for your children, or you are being asked to pay child support, talk to an attorney.
The Bryn Mawr child support attorneys at the Sadek and Cooper Law Offices may be able to help. Our lawyers represent mothers and fathers in Bryn Mawr, and throughout the greater Philadelphia area, and work to ensure that any child support orders are appropriate for your situation. For a free consultation, call our law offices today at 215-814-0395.
Calculating Bryn Mawr, PA Child Support Orders
If you do not live with the other parent of your children, child support may be appropriate. While there is no guarantee that child support will be awarded in every case, it is common for child support to be awarded to the parent who has primary physical custody of the children. Since children usually live with one parent throughout the majority of the year, and may stay with the other parent during weekends or holidays, the parent who has physical custody most of the year often pays for more of the children’s needs and expenses out-of-pocket.
Child support is used to offset this burden so that the non-custodial parent pays their fair share of their shared children’s expenses. Many parents pay for these kinds of expenses without being asked, but the amounts in question may be too high or low to be reasonable.
Because of this, courts often intervene in child support issues. A parent wishing to receive child support may go to court and file to demand support. If this happens, it is up to the parties and their attorneys to potentially come to an agreement on child support amounts. Otherwise, the court will make its own calculation of child support and order the other parent to pay.
This amount is calculated from the parents’ overall shared income. PA law contains a large table that takes the combined monthly income for both parties, then lists the proper monthly costs of raising any number of children. These values are often increased or decreased, taking into account other expenses (such as health insurance and housing), and the amount of time each parent spends with their children. This results in a final child support amount, which courts require the parent to pay each month.
Modifying Child Support Orders in Bryn Mawr
If the amount that the court calculated is too high or too low to support your children, talk to an attorney. Child support orders cannot be changed or ended without a court order. This means that you should never resort to self-help or intentionally pay less than the required amount. Doing so can lead to additional fines and penalties, including wage garnishment.
Because child support is based primarily on the parents’ incomes and the number of children each parent supports, changes to these circumstances may be sufficient grounds to ask for a change in your support order. If one parent loses a job, gets a higher paying job, or has another child, these may be considered “material and substantial changes in circumstances” that justify changing a support order.
Child support modification is a very detail-oriented issue and requires carefully considering the expenses and incomes of each party. Always talk to an attorney if you need help with having your support order modified.
Penalties for Failure to Pay Child Support in Bryn Mawr
If you fail to pay the full amount, as ordered, you could face serious penalties for non-payment or underpayment. If you are not receiving the full amount of child support you should be, taking your case to court could trigger penalties against the other parent.
Failing to pay child support is a violation of a court order. This means there could be potential fines and penalties for contempt of court. In addition, failing to pay child support often means wage garnishment. This means a court can order your boss and your bank to withhold a portion of your paycheck to pay it towards your back child support. If your child support is exceptionally overdue, the courts may take additional money from each paycheck.
If you are behind on child support payments, or are unable to afford the payments as ordered, talk to an attorney about modifying the child support order. You may be entitled to keep a certain amount of money for self-support, and may be entitled to lower payments if the ordered amount is too high for your income.
Bryn Mawr, PA Child Support Attorneys
The Bryn Mawr family law attorneys at the Sadek and Cooper Law Offices represent mothers and fathers in Bryn Mawr, in Delaware County, and throughout the greater Philadelphia area. For a free consultation with our attorneys, call 215-814-0395 today.