What is Child Support?
In government policy and family law, child support refers to the ongoing practice for a periodic payment distributed directly or indirectly by an obligor (party who is responsible for support his or her family) to an oblige (individual who maintains custody of the child) for the financial care and support of children involved in a marriage or relationship that ceases to exist. In most child support cases, the obligor is a non-custodial parent, while the obligee is a custodial parent, a government body or a legal guardian to the child.
All child support obligations are administered and subsequently enforced from the state family court system. The amount of each child support payment is calculated by the local court system based on a variety of economic, professional and social factors, including how the individuals cared for the child and each other while together.
What are the specifics of Child Support PA?
Child Support PA laws are administered and enforced by the state’s Child Support Program. This institution provides various services through the state government that are designed to protect children and ensure that they receive adequate monetary support from their parents. The Child Support Program of PA works with various interstate and federal agencies to monitor and enforce such laws.
How do I set up Child Support Payments in PA?
To set up Child Support payments in PA both the child’s mother and father must complete and acknowledgment of paternity form to confirm paternity. This form is typically completed at the birthplace of the child; once completed, forms are then filed with the local Department of Health and the Division of Vital Records.
Once these documents are adequately filed, child support payment amounts are established in accordance with the state’s Rules of Civil Procedure; Child Support PA payments are set so that they are comparable with financial support that the child would receive if both parents were still living together.
All child support PA payments are distributed monthly to the Pennsylvania State Collection and Disbursement Unit. By state law, this agency is required to submit the payments to the custodial parent within 48 hours of receiving the funds.
Noncustodial parents who fall behind with their child support payments may have up to 60 percent of their wages garnished—workers compensation, federal income tax returns and disability insurance benefit payments may be intercepted by the state until the noncustodial parent catches up with their child support payments.
How are Child Support Payments Determined?
Although child support laws are different between each state, in general, there are three primary criteria in determining a child support payment. The first, and arguably most influential factor, is income; the amount of income earned by both parents, will be factored into the determination of child support.
The second factor is custodial responsibility; child support will be offered to the parent who most adequately maintains their role as a responsible caretaker. And lastly, the number of children will be evaluated when determining the rate of a child support payment; the higher the number of children involved in a child support settlement, the higher the prospective child support payments will be. This relationship exists, because more children is proportional to more responsibility, including both parental and financial.