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Pennsylvania Child Support Update
When an individual files a complaint for child and/or spousal support in Pennsylvania, including Montgomery County and Bucks County, the court applies the parties' net monthly incomes to the statewide support guidelines. Support is considered a priority obligation over other expenses of an obligor.
In addition to the Support Order, the guidelines also provide for proportionate sharing of child care expenses based on the parties' net incomes. The obligor's share of these expenses is added to the support obligation.
The cost of health insurance premiums is also treated as an additional expense subject to allocation between the parties in proportion to their net incomes. Any medical costs not covered by insurance are the responsibility of the obligee up to the first $250.00 per year. After that, the unreimbursed medical expenses are allocated between the parties. Any predictable and recurring medical expenses may be added to the support obligation. The term "medical expenses" now includes orthodontic and chiropractic services, co-payments and deductibles.
Another factor that will not be considered in the support context, is the amount of time the obligor has custody of the minor children. In cases where children spend 40% or more time with the obligor, he or she is entitled to a reduction in support.
Financially dependent parties may be entitled to receive additional support toward the mortgage payment if they are living in the martial residence, depending upon the parties' net incomes.
Certain other expenses on behalf of the children, such as private school tuition and summer camp, may also be allocated between the parties if the court determines that they are reasonable.
A couple can come to their own agreement about property settlement, which the court will generally accept. The Pennsylvania court will decide if either spouse is entitled to alimony, based on age, physical and mental condition, earning potential, duration of the marriage and standard of living. The court decides the duration of alimony, but support ends automatically if the one receiving it remarries or cohabits.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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