In part 1 of this article, we answered some questions about divorce in general, and in part 2, we will answer questions pertaining to child custody and child support in Doylestown family law cases.
4. Will I get full or primary custody of my children because I am their mother?
Pursuant to PA’s child custody laws, custody is not determined by the parents’ respective genders. That fact that you are their mom does not necessarily mean you will get full or primary custody.
Rather, Bucks County family law courts look to sixteen factors provided by statute to determine custody. The courts use the sixteen factors to determine what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the child. The parental role of each party is just one of those sixteen factors and is by no means the sole basis for determining child custody. Other factors include the child’s sibling relationships, the attempts of a parent to turn the child against the other parent, and which parent is more likely to encourage and permit continuing and frequent contact with the other parent. Click here to see all sixteen factors relating to PA child custody.
5. My husband is the bread winner in our family, and I only work part-time so I can take care of our children. How much child support would he pay?
Pursuant to Pennsylvania law, both parents are responsible for child support. The amount you pay is based on statutory guidelines. Because you both work, the combined monthly income is cross-indexed against the number of children in order to determine a monthly support amount you would both owe to the children. Then based on the percentage each of you contributes to the combined net income, each of you would pay that percentage of the child support. For instance, if the child support guidelines state that the monthly child support is $800, and your husband contributes 80% of the combined net income, then his child support payment would be $640 paid to you assuming you maintain primary custody.
Click here to see a detailed discussion of child support calculations in a Doylestown divorce and child custody case.
The above example is a straight forward calculation. However, it is important to note that child support calculations may be adjusted after considering other additional expenses such as health insurance and child care.
For more information about Bucks County divorce law, visit our legal library.