In Pennsylvania, the best interest of the child is the overriding consideration in custody decisions. What courts consider to be the best interest is influenced by numerous legal factors and how a judge interprets those factors.
Even if a divorce, legal separation, or child custody action is not initiated, a party having custody of minor children may be able to seek child support from the non-custodial parent. However, absent a voluntary agreement between the parties, it is likely to arise only in the event of abandonment by the non-custodial parent of the child.
After the divorce paperwork is filed, and if the parties cannot agree on support payments, the court may order one to pay temporary or permanent support. This order will generally be based on the child custody schedule, the number of children, and the comparable income of the parties.
The custodial parent doesn’t have to file for divorce before beginning a child support case. If you and your spouse aren’t ready to initiate a divorce yet, the custodial parent may file a complaint or petition with the court to establish a child support order. Child support is not typically retroactive to the date of separation, so the earlier you file, the more money you can receive.
The attorneys of Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have deep experience in child support matters. Since 1978, we have assisted clients across western Pennsylvania in resolving family-related legal issues. Our founding partner, Joanne Ross Wilder, wrote the handbook used across the state by practitioners and judges in the family law arena. Our attorneys, Brian E. McKinley, Darren K. Oglesby and Bruce L. Wilder update the book annually to keep current with changes in the law and society.
Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby is among the most respected and longest-serving family law firms in the state. Our Pittsburgh child support and child custody attorneys are experienced litigators who aggressively advocate for our clients in divorce trials, support hearings, and custody trials. They are also highly capable negotiators who can employ effective negotiation and mediation techniques, when appropriate, to forge durable parenting plans.
Meet with our lawyers, and we can discuss your situation thoroughly and assess your options for seeking the degree of joint legal custody, physical custody and/or visitation that is best suited to you and your children. To learn more, contact us online or call our law firm at 412-261-4040.