PA Superior Court Speaks On Child Support!

This month, in an unpublished memorandum decision, the Pennsylvania Superior Court took up the question of child support again, specifically addressing the policy rationale behind child support. In M.K. v. E.K. a Berks County Court of Common Pleas entered a support order based on sole physical custody for Mother. Custody was later modified to allow for shared physical custody, with equal custody time for both parents. However, joint custody was not actually exercised for several months following the entrance of the custody order, and father continued paying child support. Both parties had similar financial situations, and father objected to continuing to paying child support when the order was initially entered. At the modification hearing, the Master rejected Father’s exceptions to support payments, but altered support payments to $0.

Father appealed the refusal to retroactively modify support, and argued that for the purpose of public policy Mother should be forced to repay him for the months that he paid child support but did not exercise custody. In the opinion, the Court rejected the policy behind Father’s argument, saying that all of his arguments were predicated on fairness to him. In Pennsylvania, the only support consideration should be the best interest of the child. The Court determined that tt was obviously in the best interest of the child to receive support. Even though she was collecting child support and violating the order, the Court said that the purpose of child support is only to support children, and it is not to punish parents for violating support orders.

Additionally, because the Order for joint custody was not followed by both parties, and sole custody was exercised anyway, the Court said that the children were entitled to the support payments. The Superior Court affirmed the Order.

Contact our experienced child support attorneys today to resolve your own custody situation, and receive the support that you deserve.