Child and Spousal Support
When you and your spouse and/or you and the parent of your child separate, someone may be entitled to spousal and/or child support. Gearty Law can assist you in obtaining support or defending against a support action.
Child support is calculated based upon the parties’ incomes. The party with primary custody will be entitled to some amount of child support in most cases. The court will look at both parties net incomes and will use those figures to determine the support amount based upon the child support guidelines that are found in the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure. In addition to the basic guideline support amount, a party may also be responsible for his/her share of daycare, medical, and other extraordinary expenses. Disputes often arise over the calculation of net income, which is where it is helpful to have an attorney. If a party reports no income or a low income, an earnings capacity may be entered against them, which may result in a higher support amount than if the support was calculated based upon actual earnings. Again, this is an area where it would be helpful to have an attorney.
For spousal support, the spouse with the lower earnings may be entitled to support. This is calculated in one of two ways. First, if the parties’ have no minor children, the amount of spousal support will equal 40% of the difference between the two parties incomes. If the parties’ do have minor children, the amount of spousal support will be the difference between the parties’ incomes minus the amount of child support, times 30%. This is also an area where disputes may arise over the calculation of net income. A defense may be raised against a claim for spousal support. If you are separated due to no fault of your own, ie: the other spouse abandoned you, then a claim for spousal support may be able to be defeated. Spousal support will terminate once a final divorce decree is entered.