Milford, PA asked in Divorce and Child Support for Pennsylvania

Q: How am I expected to pay CS if I do not have a job?

In 2015 my daughter decided she wanted to go live with her dad and the judge allowed it. After taking my ex to court for another issue, he went and filed for CS out of spite. I had a cleaning job on Saturdays and was able to pay the CS, then I lost that job and filed for a modification/termination of CS but it was raised instead. For the past 9 mos, my mother has been paying the CS because I have not been able to find a job. She can no longer help me out and I still can't find a job. Last wk my ex took me to court for another issue and I was ordered to pay him $225 a mo for 6 mos on top of the $205 CS each month. I do not know what to do, I have no money, and still can not find a job. I was a stay at home mom as per my ex's wishes since I was 22 yrs old, I am now 46 and never had a full time job. Somehow I have to come up with $430 a mo to pay my ex, who btw is a very rich man and I am below poverty now. All this was told to the court and DR and I have been denied. Help me please!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Lisa Marie Vari
Lisa Marie Vari
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Generally, the amount of support to be awarded is calculated upon the parties' monthly net income, and is usually based upon a six-month average. When either party voluntarily assumes a lower paying job, quits a job, leaves employment, changes occupations or changes employment status to pursue an education, or is fired for cause, there generally will be no effect on the support obligation. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your leave of employment, this may be a reason why your support obligation did not decrease at the modification conference.

PA also has a "self support reserve," the amount of money a parent paying support needs to have available to support themselves. It is intended to ensure low-income parties can meet their own basic needs as well as provide an incentive for continued employment. The self-support reserve in PA is presently $981 a month; depending on your current income, you may qualify for the self support reserve.

Lisa Marie Vari, Esquire

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