Support Issues in Divorce and Paternity Cases
Financial support is a necessity when it comes to raising a child. The challenge is determining child support payments that are fair and meet the needs of the child. Pennsylvania child support guidelines address this challenge. They outline the factors that need to be taken into consideration in order to reach a fair outcome.
The attorneys at the law firm of May, Metzger & Zimmerman, LLP, understand these guidelines. Further, our experience has taught us when and under what circumstances we can seek and obtain, or defend against, a downward deviation in the amount of support established by the guidelines. Having served Lancaster County since 1929, you can be confident in our experience and our ability to seek results that are fair.
An Overview of the Child Support Guidelines
It is important to remember that both parents pay child support. The custodial parent pays child support directly, using income to meet the day-to-day needs of the child. The non-custodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent, who then uses it to meet the child's needs. The court is focused on establishing the amount the non-custodial parent must pay to the primary custodian.
For the most part, determining child support is a purely mathematical process. Each parent has an income. Each parent also has an earning capacity, which may be considered by the court if one parent is unemployed or not earning as much as possible. The court considers this information and looks to the guidelines to determine the presumptively correct amount that the non-custodial parent must pay to the other. Unless a successful request for a downward deviation is made, this is the amount the non-custodial parent has to pay to the custodial parent as basic child support. In addition to basic child support, the non-custodial parent may be required to contribute to the cost of day care or other additional expenses incurred on behalf of the child.
Deviation from the guideline amount of support is authorized in unusual circumstances. For example, if a child has unique and expensive medical needs, the guidelines alone may not provide fair child support arrangements. Our goal is to thoroughly review your case to find out whether the guidelines make sense or whether deviations are justifiable. Whether you are seeking support or being sued for support, we will work to see that you child support payments are what the law says it should be.
Contact Us Today About Your Child Support Case
To discuss your case with one of our experienced family law lawyers, contact us today.