I have written previously about the expiration of a child support order and have discussed that the order doesn't necessarily expire when the child turns 18 years of age. The recent case involving a New Jersey teenager suing her parents for support (among other things) casts a new light on the issue of parents providing support to their child. The Judge in the case denied the teen's request for immediate support in the amount of $650 per month but scheduled a hearing for April in which he will consider evidence and testimony to determine whether a parent is responsible for providing support to his or her 18 year old daughter - who they had previously kicked out of the house for failure to follow the rules.
Sometimes in child support cases, the payor ends up paying too much support over a period of time due to a clerical mistake or perhaps a garnishment of a Federal Income Tax return. As a result, there will be a surplus of support. However, the child support office will continue to withdraw the monthly support as scheduled. So what happens with that overpayment?
Our office recently received a telephone call from an individual regarding a step-parent's obligation to pay child support. The prospective client was asking how her new husband's income would change her support order. The child's natural father had filed for a support modification because mother had gotten remarried and because her new husband made a healthy living.
In addition to the three deviation factors I previously wrote about, the Court will consider a number of other issues when deciding whether or not to deviate from the guidelines in entering a child support order. The next factor that a Court can take into consideration is the ages of the children. If the children's ages have an impact on their need for support, the Court can modify the support order accordingly.
In my last blog entry, I provided an overview of the types of factors the court will consider when deciding on whether or not to deviate from a guideline child support order. In this and the next entry, I am going to further break down the reasons you may qualify for a deviation in your support order.
I have previously written blog entries about how Pennsylvania courts calculate child support. The basic child support calculation is relatively straight forward and largely dependent on the parent's relative incomes. However, after the court calculates a basic child support award, it is permitted to deviate from that amount (either increase or decrease the order) under certain circumstances. Evidence of these circumstances can be presented at a hearing and the court will have to consider whether or not to modify the support amount based on the evidence.
Once a support order is entered by a Pennsylvania Court, the order is always modifiable. The Court recognizes that people change jobs, get raises, are laid off and experience fluctuation in income throughout their lives. Therefore, if you are paying child or spousal support and you begin making more money, the recipient can file a Petition to Modify Support and can have your obligation increased. Conversely, if you experience a reduction in income as a payor, you can file the same paperwork and have your obligation decreased.
Let's face it, sometimes divorces seem like scenes from Mario Puzo's epic- "The Godfather". Yes, maybe there is no bloodshed-like Sonny being riddled with bullets-or Clemenza choking Paulie to death from the back seat of the car-"don't forget the cannolis". But, it seems, at time, the hate between the warring Mafia families and the warring spouses is just as intense. Say what you will about the "Godfather" movie-whether you like it or not-there is much to be learned on how to handle yourself when the families are warring.
With the skyrocketing cost of medical insurance coverage, I am getting more and more phone calls from divorcing individuals that are being prematurely dropped from their spouse's medical insurance before the divorce is finalized. This unilateral move, by the spouse paying for the insurance, is not acceptable to the courts for various reasons.
One of the most prevalent questions I am asked when couples are alimony is whether or not alimony is granted in Pennsylvania. Inevitably, the client says, "my friend told me that there is no alimony in Pennsylvania". Well, the friend is wrong. In fact, in Pennsylvania there are two types of alimony - Alimony Pendente Lite and post Divorce Alimony.