Saint Marys, PA asked in Family Law and Child Support for Pennsylvania

Q: Does my husband's income count as mine on child support as a stay at home mom?

I live in the state of Pa. I've been married to my husband for 6 years. My son's (7yo), bio father has recently stopped paying child support that we cordially agreed on after only paying for a year. I want to go through court and get it court ordered. But does my husband's income count as mine? I stay home full time as I have had more kids.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
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  • Schenectady, NY
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Pennsylvania law has long provided that a child support award is determined based upon the income of individuals who owe a duty of support to the child (the parents of the child). However, the Pennsylvania Superior Court deviated from that analysis, and considered the income of a parent’s new spouse in making a support award.

In the case of J.P.D. v. W.E.D., 114 A.3d 887 (Pa. Super. 2005), the Superior Court, in their fact specific ruling, expanded their analysis to include the income of the parent’s new spouse. In only considering mother and father’s income, father’s portion of the monthly guideline child support amount was $665. The court then added an upward deviation of $701. The deviation was issued because of the new spouse’s high income (over $1,000,000), the high standard of living that father was now enjoying, and the fact that he spent little to none of his own income on personal living expenses. Therefore, he had additional income, as compared to the average father, to provide financial support for his children.

This case had nothing to do with the recipient of child support living at a high standard. It only ruled on the obligor living to a high standard. The asker is the recipient, and the statute does not consider income available to spouses which means, no, the spouse's income is not included in the support calculation unless the asker's case goes on appeal, and if her spouse earns a million dollars annually, and is decided in accordance with the rule in J.P.D. v. W.E.D.

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