The Law Center

support

How to Calculate Child Support

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.

Know your Strengths and Weaknesses

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 I’m Behind in Support, can my Kids be Kept from Me?

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.

Prepare Your Evidence and Exhibits well in Advance

Having your documents organized helps you win your case. You need to know what information you have, where you have it, and how you’re going to use it. Using exhibits effectively will show the judge that you take the matter seriously, and it will make it easier for the judge to take you seriously as well.

Don’t Hate Your Co-Parent, and don’t let your Ex Know what you’re thinking. Disengage!

“Never hate your enemies. It clouds your judgment. Never let anyone know what you’re thinking.” Two wise sentences from Michael Corleone to his Nephew from the Godfather. Unfortunately, this has deep, close application to family court. I’ll explain.

The family law Court system puts father and mother against each other in a legal war, and parents often try to completely destroy the co-parent because of the pain, raw emotion, and deep wounds that were inflicted from the relationship or the separation. Ideally, they’d support each other for the benefit of their child, but the reality is that the pain and emotion of the break up can be so intense that it causes aggression, irrational behavior, and destruction to one or both parents.

Control Your Emotions – Prepare to have your Buttons Pushed

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.”

How do I Prepare for Court?

You researched the forms, the law, and the procedure, and you filed a Petition, or were served with one. Now its time to prepare for the conference, hearing, and/or trial. In preparing your case, ask yourself 3 questions:

1) What do I want the judge to order?
2) Why should the judge give it to me; and
3) How am I going to prove it.

Is Self-Representation Right for You? If so, try unbundled services for limited, inexpensive assistance

If you can’t afford a lawyer, you’re not alone. The vast majority of people in family court can’t either, and don’t have lawyers – they go it alone. Depending upon where you live or who you ask, the number of self reps can range anywhere from two-thirds to 90 percent. The first thing to ask yourself before you decide to go without you, is will it hurt you? Can you do it?