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Child Support

We Know How to Diffuse This Highly-Charged Family Issue

Experienced Child Support Lawyers in Chester County, PA

Parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children. At Perna & Abracht, LLC, we take that obligation very seriously. Our child support lawyers can assist you with reaching a fair support agreement, work to ensure that court-issued child support orders are appropriately enforced or modified (increased or decreased) when justified, and help you with any other child support or custody issues that may arise.

Supportive, Affordable Child Support Attorneys

Our child and spousal support attorneys understand that family situations involving financial issues are often complex and emotionally charged. Although conflict may arise, a good child support lawyer can help keep the focus on your children’s well-being. We provide the support you need to cope with difficult situations in a more objective manner, reducing your stress and the negative impact they can have on your children.

We know that these circumstances can be extremely challenging. Our family law attorneys advise you on the most-effective solutions to ensure that your rights are protected, and your children receive the support they need. Our child support lawyers offer a free consultation and are committed to helping you understand how the process works. Our experienced legal team can assist you with:

  • Child support petitions, orders, and reviews

  • Court hearings

  • Accurate child support guidelines and calculations

  • Types of income included when determining child support

  • Determining how co-parenting, equal parenting time and other custody issues affect child support

  • Administrative reviews based on unemployment or disability

  • Requesting a deviation amount that is higher or lower than the guidelines

  • Collecting child support arrears

  • Modification of Pennsylvania child support arrearage

  • Issues surrounding health insurance and medical expenses for your child

  • Issues of paternity

  • Locating a noncustodial parent

  • Educational issues such as paying for private school or for college for children 18 and older

  • Support for disabled adult children

  • Understanding the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)

  • Our child support lawyers can also help you with issues of child custody, divorce, spousal support, and domestic violence.

    Child Support FAQ:

    How is Child Support Determined in PA?

     Pennsylvania has guidelines to calculate child support. The monthly net income of each parent, the number of children, and who has primary custody are just a few factors that are taken into consideration by the court. If parents share equal custodial time or joint physical custody, the higher-earning parent typically pays child support, but there are exceptions. Judges have the discretion to deviate from PA child support guidelines if they find it in the best interests of the child. Our family law attorneys are well-versed in Pennsylvania child support law. We help to ensure the amount of support you pay or receive is fair and accurate under the law.

    Am I Required to Pay Child Support With 50/50 Custody?

    Although equal parenting time arrangements typically reduce a support payer’s child support obligation, they do not necessarily release parents from child support obligations. A court may consider the earning potential and income of both parents and order the parent who earns more to pay child support. Although these issues can be contentious, it is important to remember that these payments are made for the benefit of the child. Our knowledgeable child support attorneys can help you understand how and why certain support determinations are made when it comes to shared custody.

    Can Family Law Attorneys Help Me Modify an Existing Child Support Order?

     Circumstances such as unemployment, disability, incarceration, changes in custody, childcare, and income can all affect the amount of child support you receive or are obligated to pay. Our skilled family law attorneys can determine whether a modification of an existing child support order is necessary based on your individual situation.

    What If I Have Other Children I am Required to Support?

     If you’re paying child support for children you have with someone else, the court uses PA child support guidelines to determine how much each household should receive. If the total amount of support for all children is more than half of the payor’s net income, a judge may reduce the amount of support.

    Is My Co-Parent Allowed to Withhold Custody if I Don’t Pay Child Support?

     No. Child support does not affect your right to see your children. If you fail to make child support payments, your co-parent must still follow your custody agreement and is not permitted to keep your children from you. If this happens, our child custody lawyers can advise you of your legal options.

    Here are the steps to take if you find yourself in a child custody battle.

    What Happens If I Get Behind on Child Support in Pennsylvania?

     A child support order is a legal obligation. Failing to pay child support can result in harsh penalties such as:

    • Civil contempt charges, which may result in a fine of up to $500, six months of jail time or probation for up to six months

    • Garnishment of wages or unemployment benefits

    • Seizure of bank accounts

    • Seizure of workers’ compensation or personal injury awards

    • Seizure of state and federal tax refunds

    • Suspension of your driver’s license and recreational licenses, such as hunting and fishing

    • Suspension of professional licenses

    • Passport revocation or denial

    • Liens on real property you own, such as a home

    • Seizure of lottery winnings

    • Report to credit bureaus

    • Publication of your name in the newspaper as a delinquent parent

    If you’re unable to pay child support, it’s important to address the issue right away. Our child support attorneys can assess your case, advise you of your options, and assist you with filing a modification petition.

    Can Child Support Arrears Be Discharged in Bankruptcy?

     No. Child support arrears cannot be wiped out by filing for bankruptcy.

    What if the Supporting Parent Moves to Another State?

     If a non-custodial parent moves out of Pennsylvania, the support order can still be enforced in any other state pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). If you have trouble locating your child’s parent, our child support lawyers can help you track him/her down and take steps to enforce your support order.

    When Can a Parent Stop Paying Child Support in PA?

     The paying parent must provide support until the child turns 18 years of age or graduates from high school (whichever occurs later). However, there are exceptions. For example, a stipulation that requires one parent to pay for a child’s college expenses until he or she graduates may be part of a divorce settlement agreement. A parent of a child with special needs may also be required to pay child support after the child turns 18.

    Can Child Support be Terminated Early?

     If a child becomes legally emancipated, gets married, or joins the military before the age of 18, support may be terminated. However, any child support arrears must be paid before an order can be terminated.


    If you have a specific legal question that you would like answered without any obligation to retain our firm, please schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation with one of our attorneys below.

    Schedule a Consultation Here


    Contact Us

    Issues related to child support are multifaceted. Having the best child support lawyer in your corner can help take some of the burden off your shoulders and ensure your children are well taken care of.   Contact us here or call us at 610-444-0933 to schedule a consultation with an experienced child support lawyer at Perna & Abracht, LLC.

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