Unless you've been living under a rock for the past ten years, you've probably heard about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's brood of six children together.
In Pennsylvania, child support obligations typically cease when a child reaches the age of majority, 18. However, in certain circumstances, such as when the child has disabilities, the obligation can continue. In these cases, both the parent paying child support and the parent receiving it, need to consider whether child support payments might affect the child's eligibility for Medicaid.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled this week to amend the rules regarding child support in cases where parties either divide custody or have split custody scheduled. Divided Custody is defined as cases when parents have multiple children and one parent has primary custody of one or more children and the other parent has primary custody of one or more children. The rule was amended to state the following: "When calculating a child support obligation, and one or more of the children reside primarily with each party, the court shall offset the parties' respective child support obligations and award the net difference to the obligee as child support." The rules provide the following explanation, "For example, if the parties have three children, one of whom resides with Father and two of whom reside with Mother, and their net monthly incomes are $2,500 and $1,250 respectively, Father's child support obligation is calculated as follows. Using the schedule in Rule 1910.16-3 for two children at the parties' combined net monthly income of $3,750, the amount of basic child support to be apportioned between the parties is $1,200. As Father's income is 67% of the parties' combined net monthly income, Father's support obligation for the two children living with Mother is $804. Using the schedule in Rule 1910.16-3 for one child, Mother's support obligation for the child living with Father is $276. Subtracting $276 from $804 produces a net basic support amount of $528 payable to Mother as child support."
In Pennsylvania, when a child is born during an intact marriage, there is a presumption that the husband is the father of the child unless there is evidence that he didn't have access or was incapable of procreation. Where paternity is presumed, an outside party who is the biological father of the child does not have standing to claim custody rights of that child.
A common point of contention in Pennsylvania child support cases is determining how to handle college payments. College, being technically a choice for the individual on whether to attend or not, is a complicated issue.
Mark Anthony was recently ordered to pay his ex-wife Dayanara Torres $26,800 in child support for their two children. The couple divorced over ten years ago, however Torres believed that her ex-husband should be paying more in child support and thus dragged him back into court. Torres additionally asserted that Anthony was "hiding his millions" when he claimed he couldn't calculate his actual net worth due to his extremely high income. The judge was not satisfied with Anthony's subpar income calculation and therefore ordered he submitted all of his financial and accounting information to him.
Child support in Pennsylvania is commonly regarded as covering everything except "extra" expenses such as summer camp, medical care, daycare, private tuition, and extracurricular activities such as sports and dance. But are these things really excluded? Recent Pennsylvania law would beg to differ.