Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Pgh 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.

4 Reasons to Modify Child Support

child blowing away dandelion seeds in the blue sky

Either parent may seek to modify a child support order at any time. The moving party will need to show a substantial change of circumstances occurred since the final order was entered by the court.

What constitutes a substantial change of circumstances?

Common examples include:

  • One parent gets more custody time
  • One parent gets a significant pay increase
  • One parent gets laid off from work
  • A child seeks to participate in a new extra-curricular activity

Do not voluntarily quit a job to avoid paying child support, as a court can assign an earning capacity based on past income levels.

To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Support and Social Security Disability

83496541Are Social Security Disability benefits includable as income for support purposes? It depends what kind of disability benefits you receive. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are includable in “income” as defined by Pennsylvania law; but Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are not income for support purposes.

Whether you qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) depends on your work history. To qualify for SSD benefits, you must have paid into the Social Security system by working for a certain amount of time. To qualify for SSI benefits, you need not have any work history at all. Unlike SSD, SSI is similar to a welfare program. SSI recipients must be disabled and have a monthly income that does not exceed a certain level.

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