Law Offices of Lisa Standish

Key factors judges consider re child support decisions in divorce

As 2018 nears its end, many Pennsylvania parents will be among those seeking to end their marriages. Divorce is never easy, and issues -- such as child custody, visitation or support -- can complicate matters. As recently mentioned in previous posts on this blog, parents often petition the court to request lower child support payments.

Parents concerned with lowering child support payments should know that there are typically two main factors judges overseeing such cases will consider when deciding monthly payment amounts. Such factors include each parent's income, as well as the percentages of parenting time. The latter can be tricky to determine, however, because a lot of noncustodial parent spend a lot more parenting time with their kids than they may realize.

For instance, if a noncustodial parent agrees to take care of children during nonscheduled visit time, documenting such time may increase overall parenting time percentages. This would include times when a custodial parent asks a noncustodial parent to care for sick children if he or she is unable to take off work to do so and other similar situations. In short, the greater amount of time a noncustodial parent spends with children, the lower child support payments might be.

The reasoning behind such logic is that a noncustodial parent is meeting the cost of all expenses related to having his or her children at home, such as grocery bills, money spent eating out or going to movies, sporting events, etc. or other expenditures. An experienced family law attorney can explain the guidelines Pennsylvania courts use to make child support decisions. A divorce attorney can also help bring any ongoing issues to the court's attention.

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