We have a (full) hearing in front of a judge next week because my ex is not satisfied with the amount of support she receives.
What percentage of the child support obligation is meant to cover fixed costs? I have 50/50 custody of my daughter and a $24,000/year mortgage. My ex lived with her boyfriend for the last two years and paid only the utilities; they recently married and the house is not mortgaged.
I would like to persuade the judge to take into account the "lopsidedness" of our expenses. As an aside, I bought the marital home because my daughter loves it and I felt buying it was in her best interest...I never really liked the house and it is a burden to me.
As I'm sure you are aware, child support in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is determined by a support guidelines calculation. In short, the Court will determine your monthly net incomes and run them through the support guideline calcuation and will come up with a base child support amount that is owed by the obligor. The amount determined by the above caluculation is the presumed amount of support owed but there are certain factors that could be involved that would allow the court to deviate from the presumptive amount due. Some of the issues that might lead to a deviation include: health insurance expenses, home mortgage on marital residence (in certain circumstances), etc.
In your case, making the mortgage deviation arguement may indeed be very difficult, if not impossible, if you have refinanced or taken the home into your own name as part of a divorce. You can argue that your expenses are extraordinary but I've found that this argument is not often successful. Additionally, if you have 50/50 custody of your daughter, there is also an arguement that you should be entitled to a reduction in the base support amount for having significant custody.
My advice to you......get a qualified family attorney now and have them represent you at this upcoming hearing. There are many factors involved here that should be considered and potentially argued in your favor before the judge.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO MARK THIS AS THE "BEST ANSWER" IF THAT IS YOUR DETERMINATION AFTER READING ALL OF THE RESPONSES. Disclaimer: The information provided in this response is informational only and is offered based upon the limited information provided in the question posted. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship between Attorney Kessler and the poster of the question. Should you wish to receive legal advice regarding this question it is recommended that you contact a qualified attorney practicing in the area of law involved in your question. You should not rely on the information provided in this response as legal advice.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline