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APL vs. Spousal Support

APL is short for alimony pendente lite which translates to alimony while the divorce is pending. Spousal support can be sought when the parties are separated and potentially before a divorce matter is pending. Often, these two terms for support between spouses are used interchangeably. This is due in large part to the fact that […]

Mortgage Deviations in Support

Mortgage payments may be considered in the course of establishing a support award. Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1910.16-6 covers adjustment to basic support awards and allocation of additional expenses. Under sub-section (e) mortgage payments, real estate taxes, and homeowners’ insurance may need to be considered. Second mortgages, home equity loans and other obligations secured […]

Pensions in Pay Status

Pensions already in pay status at the time of separation require additional considerations in a divorce matter. The pensions can still be divided as a marital asset however the method of valuing the total value of the pension for distribution is altered. This is because often elections for survivor benefits are made at the time […]

Benefits Paid to Children

Benefits payable to the children can affect the child support award. Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1910.16-2(b) discusses the treatment of public assistance, SSI benefits, certain Social Security payments and foster care payments in regard to calculation of support. Per sub-section (1) public assistance and SSI payments cannot be considered. SSI is a federal means-tested […]

Post-Divorce Healthcare Options

Once a divorce decree is issued, entitlement to health benefits as a spouse terminates. COBRA was enacted in 1986 and allows temporary healthcare continuation at group rates for ex-spouses. The ex-spouse is responsible for the entire premium. In that regard, it will likely be more expensive than the rate for the employee who is likely […]

Same Sex Divorce

In a decision rendered May 20, 2014, the Honorable John E. Jones, III, sitting for the US District Court in the Middle District on the case of Whitewood v. Michael Wolf, ruled that two of Pennsylvania’s laws regarding marriage were unconstitutional on the basis that they violated the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of […]

Unreimbursed Medical Expenses

Unreimbursed medical expenses may be allocated between the parties in a support matter in proportion to their income under Pa. R.C.P. 1910.16-6. The court may include the expenses within the support order or direct that it is paid directly to the party receiving support or their healthcare provider. The first $250 per year is the […]

Facts about Emancipation

There is no emancipation statute in Pennsylvania and cases are determined on a case-by-case basis looking at the facts. The key factor is if the minor child has already established independence. This would include financially supporting themselves and living apart from their parent or guardian. Any judicial determination is not permanent and can be revoked […]

Who provides medical insurance in divorce and support

Typically during a divorce, medical insurance is already in place when parties separated. Unless the parties agree otherwise, you cannot unilaterally drop your spouse from medical insurance during a divorce and must provide coverage until a divorce decree is entered as long as it still available through work. When parties go to support court, if […]

SSD vs SSI

Social Security benefits may count as income depending on the nature of the benefits be received. For that purpose, it is important to differentiate the types of Social Security benefits to ensure an appropriate support calculation. Social Security disability (SSD) benefits are counted as income. The disability payments are meant to replace the income the […]