Our Conference Officers hold a conference to establish the amount of child / spousal support under Pennsylvania law. The plaintiff, defendant and their attorneys (if any) will attend this conference. Once the non-custodial party has been properly served, the amount of support is determined by using support guidelines established by law.
The "Guidelines" indicate what a reasonable award for support would be. They are based on the idea that the child of separated or divorced parents should receive the same proportion of parental income that she / he would have received if the parents lived together. Each parent is required by law to contribute a share of the child's reasonable needs in proportion to that parent's share of their combined net incomes. The custodial parent makes these contributions through direct expenditures for food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and other reasonable needs. The non-custodial parent makes contributions through support payments.
The support guidelines set forth the amount of support which a spouse or parent should pay on the basis of both parties' net monthly incomes and the number of persons being supported. The support of a spouse or child is a priority obligation, so that both parties are expected to meet this obligation by adjusting his or her other expenditures. What they choose to do with their remaining income, after their support obligation is met, is not relevant to a support claim.
- On what income is child support based?
- What do you consider income when calculating a child support obligation?
- What happens to my case for support after the complaint is filed?
- Do I have to agree with the Conference Officer with regard to the amount of support recommended?
- How are the guidelines applied in order to determine what amount of support would be reasonable?
- Can a support order be stopped or reduced if the defendant quits or assumes a lower paying job?
- Will the Support Order always equal the amount determined by the formula?
- Will someone have to provide medical insurance?
- Must I use my support money to pay the mortgage, medical, or child care expenses?
- Will the Court order the parents to pay for private school tuition, summer camp or other needs not addressed by the guidelines?
- Will the Court order the parents to pay college tuition?