Delaware County Child Support Lawyer
Child Support in Delaware County
Parents have rights and responsibilities under Pennsylvania law. Both parents are obligated to provide financial support for their children. Child support is ordered by family courts so that both parents will fulfill their duty to share in the costs of raising their children, whether the parents are divorced or have never been married. If you are going through a divorce that involves minor children, it is important to consult with an experienced Delaware County family law attorney.
How Can an Attorney Help with Child Support Issues?
If you are ordered to pay, the law imposes significant penalties for failure to pay child support. If the other parent has been ordered to pay child support and fails to do so, it can impact your family’s financial situation. A lawyer with extensive experience handling child support matters can ensure you understand your rights, explain your options, answer your questions, and provide sound legal advice on how to proceed.
What Are Your Options if the Other Parent Fails to Pay Child Support?
Although the law imposes strict penalties, failure to pay child support is a common situation. If the other parent is in arrears on child support payments and refuses to pay, you can take action to remedy the situation through the court. A Delaware County child support lawyer can help you file an enforcement application. Once the application is filed, penalties may be imposed on the other parent, including:
- Driver’s license suspension
- Passport suspension
- Reporting to credit agencies
- Bank account seizure
- Seizure of income and properties
- Jail time
How Is Paternity Legally Established for Child Support Purposes?
When parents have never married, paternity must be established before child support orders can be issued. To establish paternity of a child, a parentage action may be filed with the court by either parent. This may not be necessary if the father voluntarily signs a verified written acknowledgement of paternity.
Does Remarriage Affect Child Support?
When a parent enters into a new marriage, it does not automatically affect child support orders. In some cases, it may be possible to obtain a modification of the current order. The court will consider various factors, including how the new spouse’s income affects the family’s financial situation. If expenses are reduced, it may reduce the amount of child support a parent is required to pay. It can also affect the amount of child support if a parent has another child.
What if a Parent Lives Out of State?
When a couple is divorced or the parents are not together, one may move out of state for employment or personal reasons. Court ordered child support payments are still required, even if a parent is no longer living in the state. Under the federal Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Child Support Enforcement can enforce child support payments in other states.
What About Alimony?
Alimony is awarded in some divorce cases to enable a spouse to maintain the same standard of living he or she was accustomed to during the marriage. The spouse with higher income may be ordered to pay alimony to the other spouse. The paying spouse can deduct alimony for income tax purposes, while the receiving spouse must report it as income. Child support and alimony are not interchangeable. Child support payments should be used solely to provide for the children’s needs, and they are not taxable or tax deductible.
At the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., we have more than 25 years of experience and focus our practice exclusively on divorce and family law matters. Contact us at (610) 645-0100 for sound legal guidance if you are dealing with child support matters.