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Child Support

Child & Spousal Support in Northampton County

Lehigh Valley Child Support Lawyers

Family Law Office Located in Easton, Pennsylvania and serving Lehigh & Northampton County

Choosing the Right Child Support Lawyers in Easton, Pennsylvania doesn’t have to be hard.  Call the other first and then call us.  Or, just call us first and forget the other calls

Our Child Support Lawyers handle all levels of child support cases ranging from initial filings to appeals. We work closely with clients to review income and achieve the best possible outcome in child support cases in Easton, Allentown & Bethlehem.

A custodial parent is entitled to child support until the child graduates from school or reaches the age of 18, whichever occurs later. If the child suffers from a serious mental or physical condition, the non-custodial parent may be liable for a longer period of time. The amount of support due in a Pennsylvania child support case is based upon the monthly earning capacity or net (after taxes) income of both parents.

Child Support is awarded by the court to the party or parent who has custody of a child or children, whether or not they are a parent of the child. Typically, only biological parents of a child are liable for Child Support but in some rare circumstances Child Support may also be able to be sought from people other than parents who have previously acted, or attempted to act, in a parental role.

Contact our Child Support Lawyers in Easton, Pennsylvania today to review your child support case.

Lehigh Valley Lawyers

How is Income Determined for Purposes of Child Support?

Pennsylvania includes all of the following as income:

• Wages

• Salaries

• Overtime pay

• Commissions

• Bonuses

• Interest

• Rental income

• Retirement income

• Social Security retirement or disability payments

• Workers’ compensation

• Unemployment compensation

• Income from an interest in a business

• Entitlements to lump sum awards such as lottery winnings

Stages in a Child Support Case

1. Initial Filing

In order to file for support or to file for modification of an existing support order you will need to go to the Domestic Relations Office and file the appropriate form. Call ahead because some counties may charge a fee to file an initial Complaint or a Petition for Modification.

2. Support Conference

A support conference is a meeting with a neutral county employee whose job is to attempt to either obtain an agreement or to produce a recommendation for the Court. If the parties cannot agree to a support amount the conference officer may tell you the recommended amount before you leave the conference, or they may take the matter under advisement and mail the recommended order to the parties a few days later.

3. De Novo Hearing

If the parties are unable to agree to a support amount at the time of the conference or if either party disagrees with the amount recommended by the conference officer, the case may be listed for a hearing de novo. Depending on the county this hearing is either with a Judge or someone appointed by the Judge (usually called a master or hearing officer).

If the hearing is with a judge, the judge will typically issue a final order within a few days. If the hearing is with a master of hearing officer, a recommended order will be issued in a few days.

4. Exceptions

If and only if the hearing de novo was before a master or a hearing officer and the hearing officer makes a legal error in calculating child support, you or your attorney can take exceptions to the recommendation and ask for a judge to review the decision of the master or hearing officer.

5. Appeal

After a judge makes a final decision in your case, you have 30 days to appeal the decision to a higher court. A higher court will not reconsider the facts of your case, it will only review the judge’s decision to determine if the judge made any legal errors.

What Should I Bring to a Child Support Conference?

Bring the following items to your support conference:

  • Paystubs (six months if possible)
  • Most Recent Tax Return (plus all schedules)
  • Proof of Childcare Expenses (if applicable)
  • Proof of Student Loan Expenses
  • Proof of Extraordinary Medical Expenses
  • Medical Form (if applicable)
  • Unemployment Documentation (if applicable)
  • Driver’s License
  • Child’s Health Insurance Card (if applicable)

Child Support FAQs

Common questions regarding child support in Northampton & Lehigh County:

How does 50/50 Custody Affect Support?

Equal shared physical custody does not mean that there will be no support obligation. Even if custody of the children is shared equally, the parent that earns more may have some support obligation to the other parent.

I have my child almost as much as the the other parent, how will that affect support?

The paying party having more than 40% of overnight custody with the child is a basis for lowering the support obligation. The paying party having less than 30% of overnight custody of the child may be a basis for an increase of the support obligation.

The other parent never sees the child, can I ask for more support?

The paying party having more than 40% of overnight custody with the child is a basis for lowering the support obligation. The paying party having less than 30% of overnight custody of the child may be a basis for an increase of the support obligation.

If I have a Child Support Contempt Hearing What Should I Do?

If you do not pay as required, you can go to jail. If you are summoned to court for failing to pay, the following can help reduce your chance of going to jail:

1. Bring as much money as possible to court.
2. Gather proof of all of your attempts to find work. (copies of job applications etc.).
3. Obtain medical evidence of any disability that prevents you from working.
4. File a modification (if warranted by a change in circumstances).
5. Obtain employment.

Let us help you!

If you need any legal assistance in the Lehigh Valley, please feel free to contact us.  Our Easton Law Office will get back to you within one business day.  Or, just call us now.

Call :(484)548-0529

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