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Family Law Attorneys Providing Guidance In Child Support And Alimony Matters

Former spouses rarely want to remain financially tied to one another. Therefore, the subjects of alimony and child support can be contentious and lead to resentment. However, both are necessary tools to ensure that all family members have the financial resources they need following a divorce.

Our attorneys at Sinatra & Istik Law Office, PLLC, understand how fraught these subjects can be, and they will work with you to find sensible resolutions that protect your and your children’s interests. This page contains standardized information about both child support and alimony, but there is no substitute for case-specific advice. You can learn more about the role they will play in your family law matter by consulting a lawyer from our firm.

Child Support Calculations And Considerations In Pennsylvania

Both parents have a legal obligation to financially support their children, regardless of their relationship status with one another. If you are about to go through child custody proceedings, chances are good that child support will also be a factor in your case.

Like most other states, Pennsylvania utilizes a formula to calculate child support amounts. Factors considered include:

  • The percentage of time each parent has custody
  • Each parent’s income
  • Child-related expenses like medical insurance, day care, and school-related costs, food and shelter
  • Any other significant costs unique to the child (such as extraordinary medical expenses)

After a child support request has been filed, the parents will meet with a government employee in a conference. The conference officer will calculate the proposed child support amount based on all relevant information, but either parent can appeal the amount within 20 days.

Whether you expect to receive child support or pay it, one of our attorneys will help you ensure that the state receives accurate information and is aware of any factors that might warrant deviating from the formula. The end goal is to ensure your children have the resources they need and that the child support award is fair and sustainable for both parents.

Will Spousal Support And Alimony Be Factors In Your Divorce?

Due to traditional gender roles, spousal support/alimony used to be standard in most divorces. Men and women now work outside the home in nearly equal numbers, but court-ordered support payments are still sometimes used when there is a significant disparity between each spouse’s income and earning potential.

It’s important to note that while some states use “spousal support” and “alimony” interchangeably, they have different meanings in Pennsylvania. In fact, there are three terms used:

  • Spousal support: Financial support paid by one spouse to the other while separated and preparing to start divorce proceedings
  • Alimony pendente lite: Financial support paid during the divorce to help the lower-earning spouse with legal expenses
  • Alimony: Post-divorce financial support one spouse pays to the other

Alimony awards vary significantly in amount and duration because they are customized to the financial circumstances of the two parties. Judges consider a wide variety of factors when awarding support and setting payment amounts and durations. Our attorneys can help you understand what role spousal support/alimony may play in your divorce and will advocate vigorously to protect your financial interests.

Modifying Child Support And Alimony Orders

Orders for alimony and child support can be modified with the approval of a court. If either party experiences a significant change in financial/life circumstances or needs, they can petition the court for a modification to the existing order. The exception would be alimony orders that contained provisions barring future modifications.

If you need to modify an existing child support or alimony order, our attorneys are ready to help you file the petition and present the strongest argument for your position.

Get Case-Specific Advice And Guidance By Contacting Our Attorneys

From our office in Cranberry Township, Sinatra & Istik serves clients throughout the surrounding areas of Pennsylvania. To schedule your initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable family law attorneys, contact us online or call 412-557-7647 today.