Child Support And Custody Guidelines In Pennsylvania
Each state, including Pennsylvania, has its own guidelines for resolving matters with regard to child custody, child support, and similar issues related to family law. It’s a good idea to consult a family lawyer as soon as possible after determining that divorce or separation is imminent. Your family lawyer can help you learn about the process of filing for child custody and child support, in addition to the laws that are applicable specifically to Pennsylvania residents.
Understanding Child Custody
Either parent can file a petition to obtain child custody; sometimes, grandparents may also be eligible to file a petition for custodial rights. If you are granted primary physical custody, it means that your child will live in your residence, except when visiting with the other parent. The other parent may have partial physical custody with visitation rights. When a child custody agreement is established, the other parent’s visitation rights are specifically spelled out with regard to when and where visitation may occur, in addition to whether visitation must be supervised. The court considers a number of factors when determining which parent will have primary physical custody, such as whether that parent is likely to encourage frequent contact between the child and the noncustodial parent. Primarily, the court considers what would be in the best interests of the child. For example, if one parent has an established history of violence, the other parent may be granted sole custody.
Understanding Child Support
The parent who has primary physical custody may file a petition to receive child support from the noncustodial parent. A family lawyer can help you file this petition and represent you in court. Pennsylvania follows the “Income Shares” model when determining child support. These guidelines consider the ability of the noncustodial parent to pay and the reasonable needs of the child. The noncustodial parent will pay child support until the child reaches 18 years of age or graduates from high school.
Larry Lefkowitz, Esq. is a family lawyer serving residents of Philadelphia and beyond with exceptional legal representation. Mr. Lefkowitz provides assistance with family law matters such as divorce, child custody, child support, and more. Give us a call or text at (215) 750-9202 and ask us about our dedication to honest billing practices.