Important Pennsylvania Child Custody Laws
The state of Pennsylvania has a series of laws and statutes that govern the determination of child custody, visitation, and other areas of family law. Considering the fact that child custody cases can often be an emotional and contentious issue for both parents involved, it's important to understand the specific laws that define how custody will be decided so that you can be prepared for the situation you're facing. When it comes to awarding child custody, the state courts will always consider what is in the best interest of the child when determining which parent gets custody. This process usually results when two parents cannot present a suitable parenting agreement following a divorce, forcing the court to decide on its own controlling order to settle custody. The courts will typically take into account a number of factors that they believe will impact the child's physical, mental, emotional, and developmental well-being. Generally speaking, these considerations will include:
- Family Relationships
- The mental and physical condition of both parents
- The child’s wishes
Important Pennsylvania Child Support Laws
As you may or may not already know, child support laws are court-mandated payments that are designed to assist one of the parents with the costs of raising a child. In the state of Pennsylvania, child support payments are required to be paid until the child turns 18 years old, barring certain exceptions. Payments can continue after the age of 18 if the child is still in high school, or if the child has certain physical or mental conditions that require extra support. The process of requesting child support typically begins when one parent attempts to enter into a child support agreement with the other parent. If the other parent does not agree, then the parent seeking child support can complete an application for child support by submitting it to the local Domestic Relations office. If the application is approved, then the calculation of child support will be determined. This calculation is typically based on several factors surrounding the needs of the child and the ability of the parent to pay. A judge will calculate the child support amount by taking into account a variety of factors such as income, daycare expenses, the cost of medical insurance, and current living arrangements. Ultimately, the legal details that are required to secure child custody and child support can be complicated, which is why it's important to have an experienced family law attorney working for you to maximize your chances at success. If you or someone you know is in need of help with a child custody battle or child support case, contact the attorneys at the Voelcker & Wagner Law Office today to find out how we can help you find a swift resolution.