Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Dormont Child Support Lawyer

Child Support: Earning Capacity

Q: Do I still have to pay child support if I’m unemployed?

A: Maybe. If a parent has no income, but is capable of working, the court can order child support based on that parent’s earning capacity. In this situation, the court may estimate what the unemployed parent could earn given his or her education, skills and prior employment history.

Other factors involve the child-custody arrangement and each parent’s expenses relative to their income levels.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, Protection From Abuse (PFA), and Children Youth and Families (CYF). To schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Support in Pennsylvania

Q: How long do child support payments continue?

A: Child support payments continue until a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. Child support may be owed for an even longer period of time for a disabled child.

In Pennsylvania, judges apply the Child Support Guidelines to determine the amount of support payable for each child. This decision is made based on several factors, including number of children and monthly after-tax incomes of the child’s parents.

Spivak Law Firm offers strong, compassionate representation in all family law matters, including child support. We help families determine the amount of child support owed and represent clients in child support enforcement actions.

To speak with an experienced family-law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Defining “Income” for Child Support Cases

78287715Child support is largely based on parents’ income. At a child support hearing, both parents are required to bring federal income tax returns, including W-2s, and pay stubs for the last six months.

But what is “income” for child support purposes? According to Pennsylvania law, incomes includes:

–wages, salaries, bonuses, fees and commissions;

–net income from business or dealings in property;

–interest, rents, royalties and dividends;

–pensions and all forms of retirement;

–income from an interest in an estate or trust;

Social Security disability benefits;

–Social Security retirement benefits;

–temporary and permanent disability benefits;

–workers’ compensation;

–unemployment compensation;

alimony;

–lottery winnings;

–income tax refunds; and

–insurance compensation or settlements.

Income does not include public assistance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, Social Security payments for a child, and foster care payments.

To speak with a family law attorney, contact Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.