Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Pittsburgh divorce expectations may not match reality, Part II

In the last post, we started to talk about the often-disappointing realities of divorce-related decisions made by Pennsylvania courts, and how the courts' decisions may not correspond to the reality that the divorcing spouses know.

A good example of expectations not matching a judge's decision is child support. For instance, a parent who is paying child support may feel that the parent who has primary custody should also contribute financially to child support. However, the court considers primary custody to involve more responsibility and more time and effort in parenting, and that this matches financial contributions made by the other ex-spouse. Reality may not fit this rationale, but that is the rationale that is going to be applied by a court.

Pittsburgh child support attorneys know that many parents who pay child support also wonder why they are obligated to pay support for, say, a 24-year-old child. This is particularly galling to some parents who say that if the family were intact, there never would have been a decision leading to the parents (or one parent) funding the child's entire college education.

This may be true, but according to the logic of the court, the parents were not able to arrive at a family decision, and so the decision was left up to a court. That court may arrive at a different decision than the family would have, but the court uses its own set of considerations. It does not necessarily follow the wishes of the former family members.

There is always some risk in putting family matters before a judge. The judge may not rule in a way that makes sense to the parties involved. That is one reason there are so many advantages to the parties' reaching an out-of-court settlement.

Source: Huffington Post "5 Support Arguments That Don't Matter in Divorce Court" Oct. 20, 2011

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