x January 2017 Archives | Langhorne PA Family Law Attorney Blog
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January 2017 Archives

Child Support: Court-Ordered vs. Direct Payment

All parents are liable for the support of their children. Spouses are also responsible for the support of their spouse. Once parties separate, a support award may be appropriate to maintain a similar lifestyle as was established while the family was intact. Parties are free to determine on their own an amount of support to be paid. This can be done through direct payment meaning there is an agreement for one party to pay the other party directly. The alternative to direct payment is support paid through the court. Domestic Relations handles support establishment and enforcement in Pennsylvania. A party owing support would pay to the statewide collection and disbursement unit and then the money is routed to the intended recipient. Wage garnishment is the preferred method of collection and will be put in place once an amount is established as long as that is available based on the employment of the party paying support.

Starting the Divorce Process

When you make the decision to divorce you have many aspects of life to manage. As we start to the process with you, we help you get organized and sort things out. While divorce can be scary it can also be a time of great transformation as you start to build a new life for yourself. We know there are times of uncertainty but help you navigate through those so you do not get overwhelmed.

Military Benefits

A number of different benefits may come into play in a family law matter if either of the parties is a member of the military. If there are children, child support can be established based on the military member's pay. This pay can fluctuate based on whether they are deployed or at home. Their pay also generally includes additional allotments for housing, clothing, etc. which are to be counted as income for support purposes. Each branch of the military has their own regulations to establish an interim support obligation if a family is separated. Alternatively, they will honor a court order established through local family court.

Date of Separation

Determining the date of separation is important for valuing the marital estate as well as grounds for divorce. Section 3103 of the Divorce Code defines "separate and apart" as follows: Cessationof cohabitation, whether living in the same residence or not. In the event a complaint in divorce is filed and served, it shall be presumed that the parties commenced to live separate and apart not later than the date that the complaint was served." Accordingly, separation does not mean the parties have to live separately. Many parties still reside in the same home but are considered to be "separate" based on the definition provided by the Divorce Code.

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