Child Support

Child Support Lawyers in Harrisburg

Pennsylvania Child Support

We have a thorough understanding of the Pennsylvania child support guidelines and how they are applied in divorce cases. While the amount of child support is typically calculated using a formula, it is important to note that, in certain circumstances, the amount can be challenged. This means that the amount of child support that is to be paid can potentially be higher or lower than the standard formulaic calculation. However, these deviations are not standard and a judge must decide whether a higher or lower amount is appropriate. You should have an attorney who is experienced in both ends of such a challenge. At Cognetti Law Group, our attorneys are very experienced in these more difficult cases.

What to Know About Child Support

Both during and after the divorce process, difficult decisions must often be made regarding the custody and support of your minor children. Despite this, child support issues can arise even if the parents were never married. It is important to note that just because a parent does not have physical or legal custody of their child does not mean that he or she is not obligated to support that child. We understand that it is not always easy to work out child support arrangements, especially when one parent has greater custodial rights than the other.

How is Child Support Calculated in Pennsylvania?

In determining child support, the court first looks at the net monthly incomes of both parties. The court then utilizes a formula and applies the Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines, which are primarily based on the total of the parties’ net incomes and the number of children in the family. When it is determined that child support is owed, there is a presumption that the amount specified by the guidelines and formula is the amount owed, but this presumption is rebuttable. Though there is a set formula to decide child support, there are several deviation factors possible in child support calculations. Additionally, when the combined monthly income of the spouses exceeds $30,000, the guidelines and formula no longer apply and a different methodology is employed. Our attorneys are familiar with the guidelines and deviations and can help you understand how your specific circumstances may affect the child support obligation in your case.

Can a Child Support Obligation Be Modified?

Child support orders can always be revisited at a later date if there is a significant change in circumstances. The following have been accepted as a change in circumstance warranting a modification of child support:

  • Decrease or increase in the obligor’s (the person who is paying) income;
  • Decrease or increase in the obligee’s (the person who is receiving the support) income;
  • Obligor’s retirement;
  • A change in custody;
  • Increase in the obligor’s expenses; and
  • Increase or decrease in the obligee’s expenses.

It is important to note that a voluntary reduction in income may not constitute a changed circumstance warranting a reduction in one’s child support obligation. Instead, the court will look to a party’s prior earning capacity when circumstances indicate that he or she has voluntarily reduced his or her income by terminating employment or by purposefully seeking out a lower-paying job.

The Harrisburg family law attorneys of Cognetti Law Group serve clients in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, and throughout Pennsylvania. We are committed to providing clients experienced and individualized family law representation.


Reviews & Testimonials

    "I am truly thankful I had you and your team of professionals on my side."

    I wanted to thank you for representing me and handling my divorce, and child custody arrangement a few years ago.

    - R.H.
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    Maria was tough! I now understand why. Allowing her to do what she felt was best for me, gave me a settlement in favor of me rather than paying out.

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    Going through divorce is a terrible experience, no matter what! However, your ways and means of guiding me through the process was very helpful.

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    Thank you very much for everything that you and your staff did for me.

    - L.M.
    "She is responsive, decisive, and most importantly, honest about the legal process and expectations."

    Her support staff is also phenomenal, from her receptionist to her highly skilled (and very kind) paralegal. I never thought I’d need a family law attorney, but I am so glad I have her.

    - E.D.
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    Between her tenacity and intellect, she took me from paying out $110,000 to $50,000 and ending with saving me $65,000 in my divorce settlement.

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    Two years (sic) I needed a divorce attorney and Cognetti and Associates came highly recommended. They got me exactly what I needed.

    - D.F.