Child Support

  • Child support is collectable through the age of emancipation (18 years of age) or high school graduation, whichever occurs later. 23 Pa. C.S. § 4321.
  • According to Pennsylvania law, paternity must be established before a child is 18 years of age.
  • Pennsylvania has no statute of limitations for the collection of child support arrears.
  • See Title 231 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Procedure: 1910, 1915, 1920, 1930

As noted in Pennsylvania Support Practice 2011 Edition:

The duty of child support as every other duty encompassed in the role of parenthood is the equal responsibility of both mother and father. The obligation to support a child or children is not contingent upon the parent having custody. A noncustodial parent may be entitled to child support in certain situations. Adoptive parents of adopted children are liable for their support.

The major elements of a child support case include: the income of the parties, the expenses of the parties, the parties capacities to earn income, their assets and debts, and their standard of living. Where the parties combined monthly net incomes do not exceed $30,000, child support is determined by application of the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines set forth at Rule 1910.16-3

In cases where the parties combined monthly net income exceeds $30,000 a 3-step process is applied to calculate the parties respective child support obligations. Rule 1910.16-3.1

Other expenses that may be included in a child support award include child care, medical expenses, private school tuition, extra curricular actives, and health insurance.