Child support determinations in Pennsylvania involve many different factors and can often be very complex depending on the circumstances of the parties. Our blog today discusses the basics of child support and how support can be settled or mediated outside of court.
A child support determination under Pennsylvania law considers both parents’ incomes, the number of children, the custody arrangement between the parties, and takes into consideration any deviation factors that may exist in any given case. The amount of support is based on the PA child support guidelines which are included in the Pennsylvania statutes. As with all family law matters; however, the parties are able to agree to an amount outside of court that is consistent with the guidelines, or is lower or higher than the guidelines.
After a child support complaint is filed in Pennsylvania, the parties are initially scheduled for a support conference with their County’s domestic relations office. The purpose of the conference is for the parties to discuss the guideline amount of child support and attempt to settle their child support matter without further court intervention. If the parties are unable to agree on a support amount at the conference, either the same day of the conference or at a later date, the parties will be scheduled for a support hearing.
However, if the parties are able to exchange income information early on in their child support matter, they may be able to craft a child support settlement and avoid the court process. This is done through the drafting of a PACSES Order and having that Order processed with the domestic relations office. Parties can also attempt to mediate their child support matter through use of a neutral third party who will review the parties’ incomes and facilitate a settlement agreement if possible.
If you have questions about child support in Pennsylvania, contact our attorneys for assistance today! We can assist you with child support matters, including formulating a settlement agreement to resolve your child support case outside of court.