Our area is still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The storm's strong winds and rain caused widespread damage over a large area of the nation. Specifically, southeastern Pennsylvania is still dealing with power outages due to downed trees and wires. Many government offices, schools and local courts were forced to close Monday and Tuesday of this week. At this point, all local courts in southeastern PA are open and may be contacted as far as any matters that need to be rescheduled. Our office hopes everyone has remained safe during the storm. We will continue to work hard to assist you in all your family law needs as our communities continue to recover from the aftermath.
Emancipation terminates a parent's obligation to support their child. Emancipation generally occurs when a minor reaches the age of 18 and has graduated high school. Whether a minor can be emancipated even before that time is a fact-intensive analysis. An emancipated minor must demonstrate they are able to assume all legal responsibility for themselves. Factors that are often considered include the child's age, marital status, ability to support themself, and the desire to live independently of their parents. A decision on emancipation would be made based on the totality of the circumstances after examining all the facts in any given case.
The issue of social security disability benefits may arise in the context of a support action. Support actions in Pennsylvania are governed by a statewide guideline amount that correlates with the ability to pay. Ultimately, any support award will be based on the net incomes of the parties involved. Social security disability benefits are recognized as a source of income pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1910.16-2. This is distinguishable from public assistance and supplemental security income (SSI) which are not included as income for purposes of support.