PENNSYLVANIA SUPPORT STATUTES
23 Pa.C.S. §3704 Payment of support, alimony and alimony pendent lite.
When so ordered by the court, all payments of child and spousal support, alimony or alimony pendente lite shall be made to the domestic relations section of the court which issued the order or the domestic relations section of the court at the residence of the party entitled to receive the award. The domestic relations section shall keep an accurate record of all payments and shall notify the court immediately whenever a person subject to a payment order is 30 days in arrears of payment so that appropriate action may be taken to enforce the order of the court. The domestic relations section shall distribute the payments to the person entitled to them as soon as possible after receipt.
23 Pa.C.S. §4321 Liability for support
Subject to the provisions of this chapter:
(1) Married persons are liable for the
support of each other according to their
respective abilities to provide support as
provided by law.
(2) Parents are liable for the support of their children who are unemancipated and 18 years of age or younger.
(3) Parents may be liable for the support of their children who are 18 years of age or older.
23 Pa.C.S. §4322 Support guideline
(a) Statewide guideline. Child and spousal support shall be awarded pursuant to a Statewide guideline as established by general rule by the Supreme Court, so that persons similarly situated shall be treated similarly. The guideline shall be based upon the reasonable needs of the child or spouse seeking support and the ability of the obligor to provide support, the guideline shall place primary emphasis on the net incomes and earning capacities of the parties, with allowable deviations for unusual needs, extraordinary expenses and other factors, such as the parties' assets, as warrant special attention. The guideline so developed shall be reviewed at least once every four years.
(b) Rebuttable presumption. There shall be a rebuttable presumption, in any judicial or expedited process, that the amount of the award which would result from the application of such guideline is the correct amount of support to be awarded. A written finding or specific finding on the record that the application of the guideline would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case shall be sufficient to rebut the presumption in that case, provided that the finding is based upon criteria established by the Supreme Court by general rule within one year of the effective date of this act.
23 Pa.C.S. §4323 Support of emancipated child
(a) Emancipated child. A court shall not order either or both parents to pay for the support of a child if the child is emancipated.
(b) Marital status of parents immaterial. In making an order for the support of a child, no distinction shall be made because of the marital status of the parents.
23 Pa.C.S. §4324 Inclusion of spousal medical support
In addition to periodic support payments, the court may require that an obligor pay a designated percentage of a spouse's reasonable and reasonable health care expenses. If health care coverage is available through an obligor or obligee at no cost as a benefit of employment or at a reasonable cost, the court shall order an obligor or obligee to provide or extend health care coverage to a spouse. Upon failure of the obligor to make this payment or reimburse the spouse and after compliance with procedural due process requirement, the court shall treat the amount as arrearages.
23 Pa.C.S. §4326 Mandatory inclusion of child medical support
(a) General rule. In every proceeding to establish or modify an order which requires the payment of child support, the court shall ascertain the ability of each parent to provide medical support for the children of the parties, and the order shall include a requirement for medical support to be provided by either or both parents, provided that such medical support is accessible to the children.
(b) Noncustodial parent requirement. If medical support is available at a reasonable cost to a noncustodial parent, the court shall require that the noncustodial parent provide such medical support to the children of the parties. In cases where there are two noncustodial parents having such medical support available, the court shall require one or both parents to provide medical support.
( c) Custodial parent requirement. If medical support is available at a reasonable cost to a custodial parent, the court shall require that the custodial parent provide such medical support to the children of the parties, unless adequate medical support has already been provided through the noncustodial parent. In cases where the parents have shared custody of the child and medical support is available to both, the court shall require one or both parents to provide medical support, taking into account the financial ability of the parties and the extent of medical support available to each parent.
(d) Additional requirement. If the court finds that medical support is not available to either parent at a reasonable cost, the court shall order either parent or both parents to obtain medical support for the parties' children which is available at reasonable cost.
(d.1) Medical support notice. The department shall develop a medical support notice for use by the department or domestic relations section in accordance with procedures established by the department. The medical support notice shall comply with national standards established by the Federal Government for medical support notices. The department or domestic relations section shall send the medical support notice to the employer within two business days after the date of entry of an employee who is a new hire into the Commonwealth directory of new hires under section 4392 (relating to employer reporting).
(e) Uninsured expenses. The court shall determine the amount of any deductible and copayments which each parent shall pay. In addition, the court may require that either parent or both parents pay a designated percentage of the reasonable and necessary uncovered health care expenses of the parties' children, including birth-related expenses incurred prior to the filing of the complaint. Upon request of the domestic relations section, the department shall provide to the domestic relations section all birth-related expenses which the department has incurred in cases it has referred to the domestic relations section for child support services.
(f) Proof of insurance. Within 30 days after the entry of an order requiring a parent to provide health care coverage for a child or after any change in health care coverage due to a change in the parent's employment, the obligated parent shall submit to the other parent, or person having custody of the child, written proof that health care coverage has been obtained or that application for coverage has been made. Proof of coverage shall consist of at a minimum:
(1) The name of the health care coverage
(2) Any applicable identification numbers.
(3) Any cards evidencing coverage.
(4) The address to which claims should be made.
(5) A description of any restrictions on usage, such as prior approval for hospital admissions, and the manner of obtaining approval.
(6) A copy of the benefit booklet or coverage contract.
(7) A description of all deductibles and copayments.
(8) Five copies of any claim forms.
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(i) Obligations of custodial parent. The custodial parent shall comply with the insurer's existing claim procedures and present to the insurer one of the following documents:
(1) a copy of a court order as defined in
subsection (l); or
(2) a release signed by the insured permitting the insurer to communicate directly with the custodial parent.
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23 Pa.C.S. §4327 Postsecondary educational costs
(a) General rule. Where applicable under this section, a court may order either or both parents who are separated, divorced, unmarried or otherwise subject to an existing support obligation to provide equitably for educational costs of their child whether an application for this support is made before or after the child has reached 18 years of age. The responsibility to provide for postsecondary educational expenses is a shared responsibility between both parents. The duty of a parent to provide a postsecondary education for a child is not an exacting a requirement as the duty to provide food, clothing and shelter for a child of tender years unable to support himself. This authority shall extent to postsecondary education, including periods of undergraduate or vocational education after the child graduates from high school. An award for postsecondary educational costs may be entered only after the child or student has made reasonable efforts to apply for scholarships, grants and work-study assistance.
(b) Action to recover educational expenses. An action to recover educational costs may be commenced:
(1) by the student if over 18 years of
(2) by either parent on behalf of a child under 18 years of age, but, if the student is over 18 years of age, the student's written consent to the action must be secured.
( c) Calculation of educational costs. In making an award under this section, the court shall calculate educational costs as defined in this section.
(d) Grants and scholarships. The court shall deduct from the educational costs all grants and scholarships awarded to the student.
(e) Other relevant factors. After calculating educational costs and deducting grants and scholarships, the court may order either parent or both parents to pay all or part of the remaining educational costs of their child. The court shall consider all relevant factors which appear reasonable, equitable and necessary, including the following:
(1) The financial resources of both
(2) The financial resources of the student.
(3) The receipt of educational loans and other financial assistance by the student.
(4) The ability, willingness and desire of the student to pursue and complete the course of study.
(5) Any willful estrangement between parent and student caused by the student after attaining majority;
(6) The ability of the student to contribute to the student's expenses through gainful employment. The student's history of employment is material under the paragraph.
(7) Any other relevant factors.
(f) When liability may not be found. A court shall not order support for educational costs if any of the following circumstances exist:
(1) Undue financial hardship would result
to the parent.
(2) The educational costs would be a contribution for postcollege graduate educational costs.
(3) The order would extend support for the student beyond the student's twenty-third birthday. If exceptional circumstances exist, the court may order educational support for the student beyond the student's twenty-third birthday.
(g) Parent's obligation. A parent's obligation to contribute toward the educational costs of a student shall not include payments to the other parent for the student's living expenses at home unless the student resides at home with the other parent and commutes to school.