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Child Support Archives

What factors do courts consider when calculating child support?

It is no longer uncommon or stigmatized to be an unmarried parent. Some studies suggest about half of all marriages end in divorce, while younger people are putting off marriage altogether, making single parenting very common. In Pennsylvania alone, about one-third of all children live in single-parent households, according to statistics.

What Does The Court Consider When Calculating Child Support?

Thousands of parents in this state need to be familiar with child support guidelines and orders. If you are getting divorced or recently had a child out of wedlock, then you should begin by understanding how support is calculated in this state.

Parents: What to Know About Modifying Child-Related Plans

As children grow, their needs change dramatically. When parents are married, they can adjust to these changes together. However, when parents are divorced and sharing custody of their children, court intervention may be required to make the necessary adjustments to a child's changing needs.

Using child support funds appropriately

The purpose of child support is to ensure that Pennsylvania children have a living situation that is as similar as possible to the one they experienced when their parents were married or together. Generally speaking, child support should be spent on things like food, shelter and clothing for children. It may also be spent on school supplies or medical bills.

The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act

Pennsylvania parents who receive or are required to pay child support should be aware of the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act, or DPPA. Created in 1998, it is a federal child support law that targets individuals who purposely try to avoid making child support payments by relocating to another state.

Incarcerated parents may have child support modified

On Jan. 19, Barack Obama signed a regulation that would allow incarcerated parents in all states to request a modification in child support based on a change in circumstances. Pennsylvania already allowed this. However, in several other states, this was not permitted because incarceration was considered voluntary unemployment.

President Obama addresses prisoner child support rules

Pennsylvania is one of 36 states that allow child support orders to be modified or suspended if the custodial parent is incarcerated. However, imprisonment is viewed as voluntary unemployment in many parts of the country. Therefore, released prisoners may face crippling debts when their child support obligations have been mounting for months or even years. This has been linked to a variety of social ills including increased crime and higher recidivism rates.

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