Spousal support and child support occur in the majority of family law cases. Both spousal support and child support are available only when the parties are living separate and apart. Either party can file for support at the Domestic Relations office in the appropriate county. Typically, once you file, you will have your initial conference / hearing in one month. We recommend that you have an attorney represent you at this initial hearing.
There are many overlapping issues to be determined when divorce proceedings are underway, and one of the more challenging issues for separated parents to resolve is child support.
In Pennsylvania, if parents are able to agree about child support, there is often no need for the court to become involved. However, if one parent files against the other, support will be calculated according to state guidelines.
For most parents, child support is calculated based on statutory guidelines that take into consideration actual income, earning capacity, the amount of time each parent spends with the child(ren), and other factors.
The process can be relatively straightforward unless one spouse owns a business or is reimbursed by an employer for expenses such as cell phones, car payments, car insurance, housing allowances, or travel and entertainment . These “perks” may also be considered as income, and the more income that is available, the more support the child(ren) can receive.
Doleva Law is skilled in knowing what to look for to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. Contact us for an income and support analysis to ensure that you are taking everything into account.
Spousal Support and Alimony
In addition to child support, Pennsylvania’s support guidelines provide for support to be paid to a spouse under some circumstances.
- Spousal support may be required to be paid to a dependent spouse after a separation but before a divorce decree has been filed with the Pennsylvania family court.
- Alimony pendente lite (also called APL) may be awarded after a divorce complaint has been filed with the court and will usually remain in effect until all financial issues have been resolved and the divorce decree has been entered.
- Alimony may be awarded as on-going support for a financially dependent spouse after the divorce and equitable distribution of assets have been finalized, particularly when one spouse earns significantly more than the other, when the parties were married for a long time, or when one spouse’s primary occupation is to care for children who are not yet in school.
When you need a Pennsylvania child support or spousal support lawyer to assist you or to review a support order when there has been a significant change in one party’s financial status, Doleva Law can help. We have extensive experience in dealing with support and all family law matters.