Cohen Family Law Firm


Child Support


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(This Is A Transcript Of An Interview)

Who Will Be Required To Pay Child Support?

When the parents of a child or children are separated, the non-custodial parent typically has a child support obligation to support the children who are with the custodial parent. If there’s a true 50/50 split, sometimes the child support obligation will be equal for both parents. However, if one parent has the child more time than the other parent, then the parent who has less time will typically have a child support obligation of some amount.

How Are Child Support Amounts Calculated?

There is a statutory guideline in the Pennsylvania Child Support statute that has guidelines set up for child support amounts based on income and expenses. There is a Pennsylvania child support website that also has a child support estimator calculator. Someone could go to this calculator and they could put in the information, and that will give them a general (not guaranteed) idea of what they might expect to pay, and then there are certain exceptions based on income.

If your income is too low or if your income is too high, then those guidelines would not apply. In addition to income, there are other possible reasons why the amount might deviate from the guidelines. A support master during a support master’s hearing may determine that there is a reason to deviate either higher or lower from the guideline amount. So that is all done by statute, and then once the master determines the amount, there is an opportunity to file exemptions by either party if they don’t agree with the amount that the support master calculated as the appropriate amount.

Is Alimony Or Spousal Support Awarded In Every Divorce Case?

No alimony or spousal support is not awarded in every case. First of all, the party would have to request it before being awarded spousal support. That means one of the parties would have to actually file for spousal support and/or alimony, and then there is a formula that would be calculated based on the amount of the income of the parties and whether child support is being paid or not. Then the amount and length of time the spousal support will be paid for would be determined based on the length of the marriage and other factors.

When Does Alimony Or Spousal Support Actually Begin And End?

Similar to child support, spousal support would potentially begin upon the date of the filing of a petition for spousal support or alimony. Any amount that is going to be owed will be calculated similar to child support, from the date that the petition was filed. That would be the soonest possible date that it could be calculated. As far as ending, that would be a determination that would be made either by agreement or the spousal support could potentially go on for a period of time until the divorce, and then alimony would be determined either by agreement or by a divorce master, and that could go on for a period of time depending on how long the period of the marriage was.

Do Judges Usually Favor The Mother Over The Father In Custody Cases?

I hear that notion a lot, particularly when I have fathers reaching out to me for help, and there does seem to be this perception out there that the system is somehow setup to favor mothers in general. However, I don’t really find that to be true. I think that each of these cases are so fact specific. Each client’s situation is so unique, that I think any generalizations about what may tend to happen really doesn’t amount for anything in any individual case. It’s really just about a matter of getting the best information you can from your clients so that you can frame their case in the best light possible.

For more information on Child Support In Pennsylvania, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (267) 297-2952 today.

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