When divorce or separation requires an ongoing child or spousal support payments, heated disagreements can arise. At Thomas Conrad & Conrad, our knowledgeable family law attorneys provide legal representation for clients involved in disputes over child support and spousal support in PA. Resolving these types of disputes through diplomatic negotiation, mediation, or skilled litigation can alleviate stress and help you come to a timely, fair resolution that keeps your family’s best interests in mind.
PA child support is determined according to state guidelines and based upon the respective incomes of each parent. Although Pennsylvania courts generally follow these guidelines closely, our attorneys can bring to light any extenuating circumstances that may affect the amount of support that’s paid or received. Some situations that may affect support amounts include unemployment, changing jobs, and health problems.
Several factors are taken into consideration in PA child support cases, including:
- The child custody schedule
- The number of children covered by the support order
- Monthly net income of both parents monthly after-tax incomes
- Additional expenses the parties may incur for the care of the children
Child support is usually payable to the parent with primary physical custody of the children. If a parent has more than 50% of the overnights with the children in a year, they’re considered to have primary custody. If parents share 50/50 custody, the parent with the higher income may have to pay child support to the parent who doesn’t make as much.
Net income includes income from any source, including wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, interest, rental income, and spousal support or alimony. Once each parent’s net income is determined, child support is awarded using a mathematical formula following Pennsylvania’s Basic Child Support Obligation Guidelines.
Why You Need A Family Law Attorney to Assist You with PA Child Support
In addition to time spent with each parent and income, other factors are taken into account when determining PA child support amounts, including health insurance premiums, childcare expenses, and school tuition.
Our skilled family law attorneys understand how to make the appropriate calculations to ensure that all income and deductions are properly assessed. Whether we’re representing the custodial or non-custodial parent, we work to ensure child support is fair, reasonable, and in the best interest of the child.
PA Child Support Modification and Enforcement
When there is a substantial change in circumstances for either parent, child support may be modified. If you need to modify an existing child support order, we can assist you with the proper filings and represent you in modification hearings. We also represent parents seeking child support enforcement actions. When a parent fails to meet a child support obligation, we help the receiving parent pursue the legal recourse that may be available to help them collect the child support they are owed.
PA Spousal Support
In Pennsylvania, spousal support is available to the spouse who earns less until a divorce decree is issued, and only then under limited circumstances. If the person requesting spousal support has behaved in a manner that could be grounds for a fault divorce, the court may refuse spousal support.
However, a spouse may still be entitled to alimony pendente lite (APL). APL is awarded based on the same established guidelines as spousal support, and the amount of the award is the same. Unlike spousal support, APL cannot be refused by a court based on any of the grounds for a fault divorce.
PA spousal support and APL are calculated according to a mathematical formula that’s based on a percentage of each party’s net monthly income. Changes in federal tax law have led Pennsylvania to revise support guidelines to offset the tax impact of the new tax laws. Our family law attorneys stay abreast of the latest changes in the law and understand how to apply it to our clients’ benefit.
Alimony In PA
Alimony is ordered when one spouse cannot meet his or her reasonable needs. Once a divorce is finalized and all property is equitably distributed, financial support is referred to as alimony. The amount and duration of alimony are based on consideration of a wide variety of factors, including:
- The length of the marriage
- The marital standard of living
- Whether one spouse contributed to the other’s education or increased earning power
- The age, physical, and mental health of each spouse
Alimony may be terminated when the receiving spouse remarries, enters another relationship like a marriage, or dies.
Contact A Family Law Attorney Today
At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, our family law team can help you understand the complicated web of PA spousal support and child support laws. To schedule a consultation, contact us online, call us at 610-867-2900 in Bethlehem, or contact one of our offices in Topton, Stroudsburg, and Allentown.