Parents in Pennsylvania may find it increasingly difficult to enforce child support agreements due to a practice called voluntary impoverishment. The process relies on the strategic manipulation of the system through under-reporting payments and earnings to the IRS to avoid child support obligations.
This issue makes it difficult for parents collecting child support, forcing them to settle for less assistance than they may be entitled to receive using an income-based formula. A parent making more money may be able to shield their earnings through underreporting methods where they are able to avoid being on the hook for the entire amount of child support they would otherwise be required to pay.
In the case of a verbal child support agreement, it may be easier to shirk child support responsibilities. This means that the agreement could be difficult to enforce due to the fact that the agreement isn’t a legally binding order issued for child support through the court system. The way to circumvent this challenge is to pursue a formal agreement.
A formal child support agreement can be achieved by contacting the Office of Child Support Enforcement. The organization can assist with formally filing for child support assistance, removing the need for relying solely on a verbal agreement to make child support agreements. The financial records and employment history will be closely examined to assign a correct amount in monthly child support payments that should be paid to the other parent.
If a parent suspects that voluntary impoverishment may be a factor in securing the child support owed, then discussing the matter with a reputable divorce attorney may be necessary. The divorce attorney may assist with filing the necessary paperwork required to pursue a formal child support agreement that is enforced by the authorities.