CHILD CUSTODY AND SUPPORT

Get What Is Best For Your Child Or Children

Child custody is a very common issue in divorce cases in Pennsylvania

Often,  in the initial consultation, our client will tell us that the parties have agreed in the best interest of the child or children. Unfortunately, that isn’t always how it turns out, especially when it comes time to work out the actual details about where the child or children will live and what decisions of the parents should be made for the child or children.

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The reason is that even with the best of intentions, there are many instances where the parents have different child-rearing ideas, or even whether or not what the other parent wants is thought of as a good thing. The Court standard is the best interest of the child, but many times, a parent’s idea of what is best for the child means what is best for me because I’m right and the other side is wrong.

When that happens, whether it’s in Bucks County, Philadelphia, or another County, a divorce case that might not be very complicated becomes contested because the custody tail wags the divorce dog. Attorney Brownstein, brings to custody cases more than 60 years of experience to the legal issues and even more time than that in helping people make the right decisions for the parents and the children in a non-confrontational way when possible.

A dispute over child custody can often be a long and draining process. To ease the tension and ensure that your child’s best interests are always at the forefront, The Law Office of Paul Brownstein will provide sound guidance and reliable legal representation to you and your family.

When it comes to custody, everyone wants the same thing: what’s best for the child or children. Very often people think that requires demonizing the other parent. While it is sometimes true that one parent is harmful to the child or children, usually the issue is seen by the courts as a matter of difference of opinion and it is neither usual nor expected to prove that the other side is somehow bad.

More important is to show why the child or children would be better off with one parent than the other. That often involves obtaining professional custody evaluations and interviews with the child or children. When it comes to difficult issues like child or children alienation, the desire for one parent to relocate, or change schools, and claims of abuse, you must have the best advice of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. Contact Law Offices of Paul Brownstein for a free consultation today.

Ensure Your Child’s Future With Child Support

Initially, it is very important to understand the difference between three very similar terms child support.

Child support at one time was a very complicated and uncertain thing to be determined because every case was decided on its facts on a case by case basis without reference to the general application of principals.

Because of the recognition that such an approach could make results unfair from one case to another, the Pennsylvania Court system developed the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines. Although there are many rules for determining the outcome, see the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure 1910.16-1.

The Court uses the relative income of each party to determine what would an average couple with the number of children they have likely spend on the needs of those children.

That result is called Basic Support and then the parent who is responsible for paying support pays a percentage of that number to the parent who is receiving support.

The mathematical calculations apply evenly to everyone, which can be very upsetting to a parent who has children and feels that the payment is inadequate for actual needs or a parent who is paying support and feels that it is excessive for the needs that are required.

The problem is further complicated because the courts do not consider how the receiving parent uses the money, because the idea is that each parent bears a proportionate share of the relative cost of a child’s needs.

Very often even though the calculations are not very complicated, a question arises about the actual earnings of a party. The standard is earning capacity which usually means what the individual is earning in regular income.

However, the rules consider earning the capacity to be total gross income, including reimbursements, perks, commissions, and the like, as well as secondary employment or even a benefit like a free car for a salesperson which is not expected to be reimbursed.

If a person is employed part-time, it is not unusual to recalculate that personal income on a full-time basis, and sometimes surprisingly, overtime is included on an averaged for the year basis.

The calculations can be especially problematic when a party is working under the table or self-employed and additional support payments can be required to cover the cost of medical coverage, daycare for a parent that needs it to work.

A very simple calculation formula can have many complicated issues that should not be handled without the assistance of expert counsel.