Under Pennsylvania law, both parents are responsible for supporting their children in proportion to each parent’s respective income. Your financial circumstances will help determine your support obligations. If you have children who are under the age of 18 or have not yet graduated from high school (whichever event occurs later), you may be entitled to child support in Pennsylvania. Depending on your circumstances, you may also be entitled to financial support for yourself. An “economically dependent” spouse may be awarded either spousal support or alimony pendente lite (also known as APL).
Child support, spousal support and/or Alimony Pendente Lite are important issues in a divorce matter; it is important that you are well informed about these issues and receive the right advice before seeking support. Contact Wesley W. Legg to discuss your support issues in detail. Every case is unique; Wesley is ready to assist you with your particular case.
Child support, spousal support, and APL are generally calculated based based on Pennsylvania Support Guidelines located in Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 1910.16-3. These guidelines are based on the net income of each party. Under Pa.R.C.P 1910.16.2(c)(1), net income is defined as gross income minus federal, state and local taxes; minus unemployment compensation taxes and Local Services Taxes (LST); minus F.I.C.A. payments (Social Security, Medicare and Self-Employment Taxes) and non-voluntary retirement payments; minus mandatory union dues; and minus alimony paid to the other party.
Voluntary contributions to your company’s retirement plan or union are not deducted from net income. Thus, just because you have contributed 10% of your pay to your 401(k) for retirement, the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines do not deduct this amount from your net pay. The State Legislature and the courts have placed a priority on child support, spousal support and/or an APL obligation rather than your retirement. Once the proper adjustments to, and deductions from, income are made, and the parties’ respective net incomes are determined, the Support Guidelines will determine the amount of support. This is a complex calculation, and one that is difficult to get right without professional help.
At the Law Office of Wesley W. Legg, Esquire LLC, he is equipped with SupportCalc Software that can assist in predetermining your obligation before your conference or hearing. If you have specific questions about child support, spousal support, Alimony Pendente Lite (APL), and alimony following divorce, the Law Office Wesley W. Legg can assist you. To set up your initial consultation, please call (484) 401-7079. Wesley W. Legg represents clients living in Chester County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County.