Child Support

In Crouse v. Crouse, No. 639 MDA 2013 (unpublished, January 7, 2014), the mother and father settled their child and spousal support case when they first separated in 2008. At that time, Father was a principal of a corporation in the construction industry. Eleven months later, the support obligation was reduced when one of the children […]

How College Savings and Custodial Accounts Are Treated in Divorce

October 15, 2013 Child Support

As a family lawyer, I have seen more and more families saving for their children’s futures in recent years. That’s a good sign. But when parents get divorced, what happens to the college savings can be unpredictable.  There are at least four different vehicles for college savings: (a) Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (“UTMA”) custodial […]

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No Blood Testing Allowed in Paternity Case

October 1, 2013 Child Support

A recent decision of the Superior Court examined the “best interests” standard in paternity cases. R.K.J. v. S.P.K., 2013 Pa.Super. 259 (September 26, 2013).  R.K.J. (“Mother”) gave birth to a child, and her boyfriend S.P.K. (“Father”) signed an acknowledgment of paternity in the hospital, even though he knew that he was not the biological father. […]

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Business Owner’s Bad Bookkeeping Criticized in Child Support Action

July 27, 2013 Child Support

The Superior Court articulated its intolerance for a business owner’s shady bookkeeping practices in M.K.K. v. T.C.J., No. 129 WDA 2012 (July 25, 2013), a child support action arising from Washington County. The father in this case, who owned and operated a vacuum cleaner sales and repair shop as a Schedule C business for over thirty […]

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Flipping Loss Not Deductible from Income in Child Support Action

May 31, 2013 Child Support

The Superior Court in K.J.P. v. R.A.P., 68 A.3d 974 (Pa.Super. 2013) examined losses emanating from a parent’s investment activity apart from his primary employment. In addition to his regular employment as a marketing and product development consultant, Father was engaged in the purchase, renovation and sale of residential properties, owning as many as 20 […]

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Gifts Still Not Income in Child Support Proceedings

May 20, 2013 Child Support

In Suzanne D. v. Stephen W., 2013 Pa.Super. 93 (April 22, 2013), the Superior Court contemplated how to characterize $350,000 in money transfers that father received from his father, in the context of a post-divorce child support proceeding. Father testified that the transfers were loans, evidenced by a promissory note, which would be deducted from […]

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Why is Child Support Based on Income, without Considering Expenses?

May 17, 2013 Child Support

As a child support lawyer, I am frequently asked why the Pennsylvania child support guidelines don’t consider a parent’s expenses. Sometimes paying child support makes a parent “see red.”  Parents may experience personal budget deficits when they have to add child support to the list of bills they pay each month. And the court doesn’t […]

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Mother’s Secret Tryst Doesn’t Excuse Husband from Paying Child Support for Boyfriend’s Child

April 5, 2013 Child Support

When the Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced its decision last year in K.E.M. v. P.C.S., 38 A.3d 798 (Pa.2012), it changed the face of child support paternity law, applying a “best interests of the child” standard in cases involving paternity by estoppel. An age-old concept, “paternity by estoppel,” means that a man who acts as though […]

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Bamboozled Father is Excused from Paying Child Support

March 19, 2013 Child Support

A non-precedential decision of the Superior Court recently addressed the defenses available to a father who failed to pay child support for fifteen years, after the mother told him that her new husband intended to adopt. Lloyd v. Ader, No. 934 MDA 2012 (March 15, 2013). The child in this case was two years old […]

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How the Fiscal Cliff Tax Deal Affects Child Support

January 4, 2013 Child Support

Over New Year’s Weekend, our Congress passed legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff,” which would have resulted in dramatic income tax increases. The new law has ushered in tax increases, to be sure, but those tax hikes are not as dramatic as what might have occurred if Congress had not belatedly acted. The Fiscal Cliff […]

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