Child support is always payable to the parent with primary custody of the children (meaning more than half of the overnights with the children). The issue is overnights, not hours or days. The parent with more than half the overnights gets child support. When there’s 50-50, one week on, one off, child support in Pennsylvania is paid to the lower-earning parent.
The opposing litigant, the lawyer, and witnesses aren’t your friend. And just because your friends and family love you and want to support you, doesn’t mean that they’re always helpful. The other side is there at court to present evidence against you and ask for something different than what you want. However polite or even friendly the other side is outside of court, remember that when your case is called, they’re going to be telling the judge why you shouldn’t get what you want. You’re in litigation.
If you’ve received a contempt notice for failure to pay a child support order, be aware that the judge can put you in jail. The constitution guarantees you the right to an attorney when your liberty is at stake, but your county may or may not provide this to you; assume that you won’t be able to speak to an attorney.
Your ex can not keep you from seeing your child if you are behind in child support. Courts are organized into separate family law categories: support, custody, and divorce. Child custody and child support are separate. Good or bad behavior in one does not affect the other. Your ex can’t withhold your custody time if you’re behind in your child support no matter how much you owe or how far behind you’ve fallen.
Your ex knows how to upset you. He or she may start pushing your buttons in court to cloud your judgment, because then you respond with anger, and the emotions work against you. What can you do to combat this?
My wife uses the phrase, “poke the beast.” When I’m in a bad mood and holding back my rage, and then my son starts needling me, my wife says to him, “Thomas, don’t poke the beast.”
The cold hard truth is that if you’re going to court alone and the other side has a lawyer, you’re at a serious disadvantage. Statistics show that the odds are stacked against you and the side with an attorney has a better chance of winning. What can you do to improve your chances and even up the odds? The best way to improve your chances in court is to prepare.