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Washington County Family Law

Phone Rules for Parents Who Share Custody

78287715There are no specific rules on how to maintain contact with your children when they are with the other parent. It depends on the age of the child, the relationship the child has with the parent, the individual characteristics of the child, and the relationship the parents have with each other. Some children want a phone call and enjoy speaking to the other parent. Other children are not verbally expressive, which makes phone conversations frustrating and difficult. Family therapists recommend abiding by the following phone rules:

  • There should be an effort by both parents to allow contact between the child and the other parent, especially if that’s what the child genuinely wants
  • The younger the child, the more contact is preferred
  • When a parent calls to speak to his or her children, have the children take responsibility for answering the phone or returning the call
  • Do not use the phone to intrude on the child’s time with the other parent or to maintain influence over the child when the child is in the other home
  • Do not use the phone to have the children spy on the other parent and report all the “bad things” that are going on
  • Use the phone in a way that serves the child’s needs, not the parent’s need to continue to influence the child and to interfere with the child’s relaxation and enjoyment of time in the other parent’s house

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

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Child Support?

Little girl wearing sundress holding flowersChild support payments in Pennsylvania continue until a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. If you owe child support but do not pay it, there are several enforcement measures that may be taken against you, including:

  • Your wages may be withheld
  • Your federal and state income tax refunds may be taken
  • Your bank or credit union may be ordered to turn over your financial assets
  • Major credit bureaus may be alerted
  • The following licenses may be suspended, denied, or not renewed:
    • Driver’s license
    • Commercial driver’s license
    • Professional or occupational license
    • Fishing license
    • Hunting license
  • Your passport may be denied or not renewed
  • Your lottery winnings may be taken
  • Your name may be published in the newspaper
  • Your overdue support may become a lien against all real estate that you own in Pennsylvania
  • You may be fined or imprisoned for up to two years

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

Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines

Beautiful baby of three months old in his mothers hands.Pennsylvania and 36 other states apply the Income Shares Model for calculating child support. Under this model, children of separated, divorced or never-married parents are entitled to receive the same proportion of parental income that they would have received if the parents lived together.

Several economic studies estimate the average amount of household expenses for children in intact households. These studies show that the proportion of household spending devoted to children is directly related to the level of household income and to the number of children.

Pennsylvania’s child support guidelines represent average expenses on children for food, housing, transportation, clothing and other miscellaneous items that are needed by children and provided by their parents. The guidelines, which are established by rule by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, are based upon the reasonable needs of the child.

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