Child Support Court Process
The Pennsylvania child support court process can be complicated and may involve multiple hearings.
When two parents get divorced, they will be faced with some very important and complex issues. One of the most pertinent matters is child support or payments that go towards maintaining a child’s quality of life. If parents are unable to work out an agreement on their own, a child support order will be issued by a judge. While child support orders are commonly created after a divorce, they are also utilized when unmarried parents seek child support or when a child support agency’s services are called upon.
At Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC our Pittsburgh child support lawyers know how chaotic these situations can be for everyone and attorney Anthony Piccirilli will guide you every step of the way, ensuring you have the resources you need.
Call (412) 471-5100 today to protect your rights during the child support curt process.
Understanding the Process
Creating a child support agreement can be difficult, especially if you and your spouse are not on good terms. A lawyer or mediator can be helpful in settling disputes and creating an arrangement that is fair. Whether you go it alone or seek legal counsel, the first step in determining child support is locating the other parent. This is essential, as the court cannot issue or enforce an order without knowing the whereabouts of both parents. Once both parents have been found, legal paternity must be established. In Pennsylvania, very little is done to verify the father’s paternity. In most cases, a man simply needs to sign legal documents to gain parental rights. DNA tests are only administered when paternity is questioned by the court or the mother herself.
At this point, the terms of child support payment must be arranged. One option is for two parents to work out an agreement on their own. This is referred to as child support by arrangement and while this is a cost-effective method, an informal child support agreement carries no legal weight. A judge cannot force a parent to pay child support based on an arrangement that was not drafted in a court of law. The alternative course of action involves filing a petition and allowing a judge to create a formal custody order. Here, a binding arrangement is issued to both parents. Breaking these rules can result in fines, jail time, or both. Once an order has been issued, the parent ordered to make child support payments can request that the terms be modified if circumstances change.
When creating a child support agreement as part of a custody order, a judge will examine a number of factors. While these elements vary, the goal of a this agreement is to serve the child’s best interests. More specifically, the purpose of a child support agreement is to set payment amounts that will maintain the child’s current standard of living. Factors for consideration include, but are not limited to:
- The monthly and annual income of both parents
- Whether either parent is providing support to a child from a previous relationship
- The amount paid in childcare by the custodial parent, or the parent that has physical custody
- The extent to which each parent should be responsible for paying for the child’s health insurance
Contact Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC
If you are involved in a heated custody battle, the child support court process can probably leave you feeling worried and confused. Your spouse may be trying to take away your parental rights when you only want the opportunity to be involved in your child’s life.
The Pittsburgh custody lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC appreciate that being involved in a custody dispute can create a lot of turmoil in your life as well as severe financial uncertainty. Let attorney Anthony Piccirilli present your case and make it obvious to the court that you are a loving parent, who is only concerned with your child’s well-being.
Call (412) 471-5100 now to see how your case can conclude in a fair child support agreement.