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Determining and Implementing Child Support Plans

Whether two parents are seeking a divorce or have never been married, the issue of child support will need to be addressed. Many clients throughout Philadelphia come to us concerned about how much child support will be owed and how often it must be paid. How is child support impacted by a shared custody agreement? What happens if financial circumstances change? These are all just some of the child support issues we resolve for our clients.

Child Support in Pennsylvania: 40 Years of Making the Law Work for Families

Attorneys at Avallone Law Associates are dedicated to assisting individuals understand their rights and obligations regarding the payment of child support. The firm practices throughout the greater Philadelphia metro area and eastern Pennsylvania.

Contact Avallone Law Associates via email or call 215-253-3855 for a free initial consultation and answers to your child support questions.

How Long Does Child Support Last?

Child support can be modified or terminated at any point after divorce, provided there is good reason to do so (e.g., the payer loses his or her job and needs a temporary reduction in payments, a stepparent adopts the child) that said, Pennsylvania imposes a duty on parents to support their children until those children are emancipated. Generally, but not always, this happens when a child turns 18 or graduates from high school. If your child is nearing the age of 18, you should talk to an attorney about appropriate next steps.

How Is the Amount Determined?

Child support is ordered according to a specific chart determined by Pennsylvania statute. This formula incorporates factors such as the income of the parents, and also takes into account special needs like day care, school tuition, music lessons, medical needs and summer camp. However, post-secondary support is no longer required by law, largely due to the 1997 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in the matter of Curtis V. Klein.

Keep in mind, however, that the state’s guidelines are just that — guidelines. Judges do have discretion to deviate from the guidelines when they feel it is justified.

Our Philadelphia child support lawyers work to provide courts with complete and accurate financial information so that when the formula is applied, our clients obtain a fair result. We are also effective at convincing courts to deviate from the guideline amounts when circumstances warrant. In addition, if you are seeking a child support modification, we can also help.

Do the Guidelines Always Apply?

If the combined household income of two parents is more than $20,000 a month, Pennsylvania’s standard child support formula does not apply. To lawyers, these are known as Melzer cases (based on Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling in the 1984 high net worth divorce of Melzer v. Witsberger). Melzer cases involve a more complicated, multipart formula that leaves much to the discretion of the judges.

Evening and Weekend Appointments • Payment Plans Available

Our attorneys can evaluate your situation, explain your rights and help you understand how the state’s child support guidelines might apply to you. To learn more, call or contact Avallone Law Associates and schedule a free consultation.

Evening and Weekend Appointments • Payment Plans Available