Child & Spousal Support

The obligation to support children is mandatory for all parents, and it doesn’t disappear in the event of a divorce. A spousal support claim can be made after the parties separate up until the divorce is final. In the course of divorce proceedings, you need representation that can help you pursue the fairest deal possible.

Seek Representation Early

If you are considering filing for child or spousal support, it is crucial to have representation from the beginning of the process. The recommendations in the earliest negotiations may become the basis for the later stages of the process.

Alimony Legal Services

Almost every marriage dissolution negotiation involves some discussion of alimony. Alimony is the money paid from one spouse for the support and maintenance of the other after the divorce is final. The alimony determination can have a significant impact on a spouse’s finances for years to come.

Alimony Determinations

Unlike spousal support, which is money paid before a divorce is finalized, alimony is the amount paid to a former spouse after a divorce is final.

PA courts can consider 18 different factors when deciding alimony claims, including:

  • Earnings
  • Length of marriage
  • Age
  • Health
  • Contribution of each party to the marriage
  • Custodial arrangement of the children
  • Size of marital estate and non-marital assets

Spousal Support Services

In many instances, when you are dealing with a spousal support issue, you need a lawyer, right from the beginning. During the initial stages, you will negotiate for a support recommendation, and the amount of this recommendation will remain with you throughout the process. It is essential to be represented from the very start.

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A Multi-Step Process to Spousal Support Cases

Spousal support is the financial support paid by one spouse to the other during a separation. It requires that the parties be separated but not divorced. After divorce, the support is called alimony. It is possible, under Pennsylvania law, to be separated while still living under the same roof. Although the process is slightly different in each Pennsylvania county, filing for spousal support generally involves the following basic steps:

5

First

File a complaint with the Domestic Relations Office.
5

Second

Usually four to eight weeks after the initial filing, a conference is scheduled with a conference officer.
5

Third

If an agreement is not reached with the conference officer, the officer looks at the parties’ incomes and expenses, and assigns a monthly net amount to each party.
5

Fourth

If the parties do not agree with this recommendation, they will appear before a master and a recommendation is then issued.
If either one of the parties disagrees with the master’s recommendation, he or she can file exceptions (an appeal) to a judge.

Child Support

In Pennsylvania, in most cases the noncustodial parent pays support to the custodial parent. To determine the child support amount, the court will first look at the monthly net income and/or earning potential of both parents. By incorporating this figure into the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines, the court determines the appropriate amount of support.

High Income Support

Our network of financial professionals such as forensic accountants and business valuation experts. These financial professionals provide vital information in helping identify all sources of income and earning capacities.

The court can adjust the amount of the child support obligation based on factors such as:

  • the needs of the children
  • joint physical custody with equal number of overnights
  • the paying parent’s other financial obligations, including child support or alimony from a previous divorce

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