Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Dormont Family 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.

Child Custody: Corporal Punishment

In child custody litigation, parents are under a microscope. But the court isn’t the only one watching you closely. Your ex is paying close attention too. Your ex may be willing to tell the court anything that brings your integrity as a parent into question, especially the use of corporal punishment.

Although Pennsylvania permits the use of corporal punishment, the standard for deciding custody cases is “the best interests of the child,” which includes the child’s physical and emotional health. Accusations of excessive or extreme corporal punishment are given weight.

In cases where the scales weigh equally in favor of each parent, excessive corporal punishment may tip the scales out of your favor. If you are engaged in a child custody dispute, you should avoid using corporal punishment.

Sending your child back to the other parent with a mark caused by spanking could have disastrous results on your child custody case.

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

Grandparent Custody Rights in Pennsylvania

144806853In Pennsylvania, a grandparent may seek custody rights over a grandchild under one of the following three scenarios:

  • Scenario #1: The grandparent has acted as a parent to the child and taken on the responsibilities of parenthood for a period of time. This is known as acting in loco parentis – or acting “in the place of a parent.”
  • Scenario #2: A grandparent who has not acted in loco parentis still may seek custody of the child if:
    • A parent of the child allowed the grandparent to form a relationship with the child; and
    • The grandparent is willing to take responsibility for the child; and
    • One of the following circumstances exists:
      • The child is deemed “dependent” under Pennsylvania’s child abuse and neglect law; or
      • The child is deemed substantially at risk due to parental abuse, neglect, drug or alcohol use, or incapacity; or
      • The child has lived with the grandparent for at least 12 consecutive months (not counting brief absences) and is removed from the home by the parents.
  • Scenario #3: A grandparent may seek partial physical custody or supervised physical custody in the following situations:
    • The parent of the child has died; or
    • The parents of the child have been separated for at least six months or have started divorce proceedings; or
    • The child has lived with the grandparent for at least 12 consecutive months (not counting brief absences) and is removed from the home by the parents.

To learn more about grandparent custody rights in Pennsylvania, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.