Butler Child & Spousal Support Lawyer
Support obligations are determined during divorce—or, in the case of child support, at any time—and have lasting ramifications for all parties. As the paying party, the goal is generally to limit the support as much, or to the degree that they are able to pay. As the receiving party, that financial support is crucial for paying for living expenses, education, or your child’s food and clothing. As such, parties receiving support generally try to negotiate the highest possible support obligation. Here at Bunde & Roberts, P.C., our Butler child & spousal support lawyers understand the importance of any divorce decree pertaining to support obligations, and will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights are preserved and your best interest succeeds.
Child support is paid to the custodial parent, or if both parents have custody, it is paid to the parent with primary physical custody as their expenses for raising the child are the highest. The average cost to raise a child until the age of 18 is $233,116, according to USA Today. And this figure does not include the cost of college, which amounts to over $22,000 a year in tuition alone for an in-state college in Pennsylvania, according to College Calc. Child support is used to pay for anything the receiving parent decides to use the money on—food, rent or mortgage payments, childcare, savings, education, vacation, etc. Child support is determined by each of the parent’s income and the needs of the child.
Spousal Support and Alimony
Spousal support comes in three forms here in Pennsylvania: spousal support, alimony pendente lite, and alimony. Spousal support is a temporary payment that is used during the divorce process to help the lower earning spouse maintain their standard of living, and is typically distributed to the lower earning spouse before divorce is filed. Alimony Pendente Lite is paid to the lower earning spouse after the divorce action has been filed, and is also used to maintain that spouse’s standard of living until a final divorce decree is issued. Alimony is the term used to describe ongoing support payments that are paid after divorce for a specified number of months or years. Similar to child support, alimony or spousal support is awarded based on each party’s assets and income, the age and health of each spouse, the ability of the lower earning spouse to earn an income or retrain, the length of the marriage, equitable division of marital assets, and more.
The Tax Consequences of Support
Support can have a big impact on taxes. While alimony used to be deductible from the paying spouse’s taxable income, it no longer is thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Similarly, there have been changes for custodial parents when it comes to taxation as well. There have been many changes to the tax code in recent years, and you need to work with an attorney who has a strong understanding of these changes.
Call a Butler Child and Spousal Support Lawyer Today
If you are going through divorce or separation, you need to work with an experienced Butler child and spousal support lawyer to ensure that your best interests are represented. Call Bunde & Roberts, P.C. today at 412-391-4330 to schedule a consultation.