The financial costs associated with raising children increase each year. Following a divorce, each parent is equally responsible for ensuring the health and well-being of minor children. The Law Office of Marta S. Laynas provides families with the information and support they need to create child support orders that make the divorce transition as easy as possible for your children.
Under Pennsylvania family law, child support continues for unemancipated children until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. Pennsylvania uses the income shares model to calculate an appropriate amount of support. Under this method, the court examines the amount that would have been available to the child if the marriage had remained intact. That amount is proportionally divided between parents according to each parent’s income contribution. The court uses a child support worksheet to evaluate income and calculate the correct amount of support.
The court may order either or both parents to pay child support, depending on the family’s specific circumstances and the best interests of the child. Child custody determinations often play a role in evaluating support. It is uncommon for the custodial parent to be required to pay support to the noncustodial parent. An experienced West Chester divorce attorney can help you understand how child support is evaluated according to your unique situation.
Each parent’s ability to pay child support is analyzed according to specific factors outlined by Pennsylvania code. The court considers:
Child support orders must include a provision for medical support and health insurance for the child that may be provided by either parent. The court may also order one or both parents to contribute to the postsecondary educational expenses of the child. Postsecondary education awards may only be awarded after the child has exhausted reasonable efforts to apply for scholarships, grants and work-study assistance.
In the event of a material change in circumstances, such as the loss of a job or a raise in salary, modifications may be made to your child support order if the court believes it to be in the best interests of the child.
The Law Office of Marta S. Laynas is dedicated to helping your family through each step of the divorce process. The office is 15 minutes from West Chester Family Court and offers ample free parking. Contact the firm online or call 610-692-3460 to schedule an initial consultation.