Experienced Child Support and Alimony Attorney
Anytime a divorce or separation requires ongoing support payments, there are likely to be heated disagreements over the amount of support owed. Resolving such disputes favorably requires diplomatic negotiations or skilled litigation tactics.
At Thomas Conrad & Conrad, our attorneys provide knowledgeable legal representation for people involved in disputes over child support and spousal support levels. Depending upon the circumstances, we can effectively resolve these disputes either through negotiation or litigation.
Our primary goal is always to protect the best interests of our clients and their children. Contact our offices to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our experienced family law lawyers at one of our offices in Lehigh, Northampton, Monroe, and Berks counties.
Child support levels are determined in accordance with state guidelines and based upon the respective incomes of each parent.
Although the courts generally follow these guidelines closely, an attorney's involvement can help underscore any extenuating circumstances which can affect the amount of support paid or received. For example, when one parent is self-employed, it can be extremely difficult to accurately determine the income levels.
A knowledgeable family lawyer can make the appropriate calculations to ensure that all income is properly assessed. Additionally, the guidelines do allow some deviations from the recommended levels of support under certain circumstances, including unemployment, changing jobs, and health problems.
A dedicated attorney with significant experience handling child support matters can effectively advise you when you are seeking any deviation from the guidelines. Whether representing the custodial or non-custodial parent, we work to ensure child support is both fair and reasonable.
Child Support Modification and Enforcement
Child support levels are subject to modification in the event there is a substantial change in circumstances for either parent. We work with mothers or fathers interested in pursuing modification and represent them in all modification hearings.
We also represent parents pursuing child support enforcement actions. When the paying parent has failed to meet a child support obligation, the receiving parent has multiple legal options available.
For example, the court may suspend the paying parent’s driver’s license or freeze their bank account to ensure that the children are protected.
In Pennsylvania, spousal support is available until the issuance of a divorce decree, and only then under limited circumstances.
In fact, if the person requesting spousal support has taken any actions that would serve as grounds for a fault divorce - such as committing adultery, the court has a right to refuse spousal support.
Sometimes, when a spouse is not entitled to spousal support, he or she may still recover alimony pendent lite (APL). APL is awarded based on the same established guidelines as spousal support and the amount of the award will be the same.
Unlike spousal support, APL cannot be refused by a court based on any of the grounds for a fault divorce. Once the divorce decree is finalized and all property is equitably distributed, financial support is referred to as alimony.
Alimony is ordered where a spouse cannot meet his or her reasonable needs. The amount and duration of alimony are based on consideration of a wide variety of factors, including income.
Alimony may be terminated when the receiving spouse remarries, enters into another relationship similar to a marriage or dies.
Legal Costs Incurred
Flat fees are available in many types of matters (no-fault divorces, custody conferences / hearings, property settlement agreements, support conferences / hearings, protection from abuse hearings, adoptions, etc.).
Flat fees avoid the unknown, unexpected, and often excessive attorney fees resulting from hourly fees and large retainers charged by most attorneys for these same types of services.