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Tag Archives: child support


Unemployment Compensation and Support Orders in Today’s Economy

Unemployment Compensation and Support Orders


It is often an unexpected event that many may face but few are prepared to endure.  In some circumstances, a portion of one’s income can be recouped by applying for and receiving unemployment compensation.  Unemployment and the loss of one’s normal income can be stressful.  That stress is further compounded if you currently have a support obligation that you are ordered to pay.

If you have a support obligation in place for either spousal, APL and/or child support, your unemployment compensation will be impacted by this obligation.  It is important to understand that unemployment compensation is considered income.  Any support order that is initiated by the County Courts of Common Pleas will affect a person’s unemployment compensation.  The Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law requires the Department of Labor and Industry to deduct support obligations from the unemployment compensation that one receives.

However, there may be relief available.  If you currently pay a form of support to another and find yourself unemployed, through no fault of your own, this may be considered a substantial change in circumstances.  When a person experiences a substantial change in circumstances that render the current support obligation difficult, or even impossible to maintain, it is very important to ask the court for relief.  This can be accomplished by filing a Petition to Modify Support.  A Petition to Modify Support lets the court know that you are not ignoring your obligation, but rather you are experiencing a temporary hardship.  Even if you know that your filing may not result in a conference or hearing date in the immediate future, you must file this petition.  A Petition to Modify Support will act as safeguard against a claim of contempt, or a potential enforcement proceeding.  In addition, your date of filing will be important because if you are granted a modification, which can result in lowering your monthly support payment, your filing date becomes the effective date.

As with any financial or legal situation that you may find yourself in, it is best to address it as soon as possible.  Get in contact with an experienced family law attorney in your area that can walk you through the steps and file the necessary paperwork.  There are always remedies available, but you must take the affirmative step to seek them.

unpaid child support

Can a Parent Withhold Visitation for Unpaid Child Support?

Unpaid child support can be a significant problem. In the final analysis, unpaid child support threatens the wellbeing of children. Oftentimes, the custodial parent who is to receive child support payments on behalf of children needs to take action to enforce an existing court order.

A common thought of a custodial parent is to withhold visitation or parenting time until the noncustodial parent addresses the matter of unpaid child support. The theory is that if the noncustodial parent is not honoring an existing child support order, that individual should not be permitted to enjoy visitation or parenting time with the children.

On its face, there seems to be an air of logic to withholding visitation for unpaid child support. In reality, such a tactic is not legally permissible.

Unpaid Child Support and Visitation: Separate Issues

According to Pennsylvania family law, unpaid child support and visitation and separate and distinct legal matters. They are not connected and do not become so in a situation in which unpaid child support exists. Conversely, if the custodial parent withholds visitation, the noncustodial parent cannot in turn stop paying child support.

Divorced parents need to understand what is in the best interests of children. Complying with a child support order is in the best interests of children. Moreover, regular visitation or parenting time is in the best interests of children.

Remedies for Unpaid Child Support

Pennsylvania law provides a variety of avenues through which a custodial parent can seek enforcement of a child support order. These include everything from seeking enforcement of a child support order in court to engaging the assistance of a child support enforcement agency. What these remedies do not include is what is known as “self-help.”

Self-help occurs when a parent takes matters into his or her own hands when it comes to unpaid child support. Withholding visitation in light of unpaid child support is an example of impermissible self-help.

Legal Representation

The best way to ensure matters like unpaid child support are appropriately and quickly addressed is to engage the services of an experienced child support attorney. Taking a proactive approach in regard to unpaid child support best ensures that the arrearage doesn’t pile up unnecessarily.


Spouse Stopped Paying Support

What to do when your spouse leaves you paying all the expenses

This is an all too common occurrence and frequent question in cases of separation and divorce. Husband or wife leaves the home, sometimes without much warning, and the other is left struggling to maintain the bills in his or her absence. Electric bills, mortgage payments, shared credit cards and taxes can easily become delinquent and lead to bad credit, liens, or even foreclosure. If your spouse walked out and stopped paying towards your household, you may file for support to ensure continued financial security.

Seeking an experienced Bucks County divorce attorney will ensure that support is filed properly and yields the best results possible. Sit down with your divorce lawyer and explain all of the expenses you have been left with, including insurance premiums that have gone unpaid, cable bills, or medical expenses. Everything should be accounted for before filing for support if your spouse walked out.

Time is of the essence. Be sure to file for support as soon as possible if your spouse walked out unexpectedly. It can be natural to wait in the hopes that he or she returns, but bear in mind that it can be about two months from the initial filing before any court order is signed. While the order may be backdated to account for arrearages accrued following his or her initial leave, adding delays in the hopes of a timely return could be devastating.

Filing for support can be done pursuant to § 3702 which governs alimony pendente lite, counsel fees and expenses. Alimony pendente lite means temporary alimony/support, which is paid during the pendency of the divorce to ensure the continued support of the household. Additionally, the statute indicates that when appropriate, the court may direct the continuation of health coverage and benefits.

The protections of having a support order do not end with making up for a few bills. If your spouse threatens to, or does not, uphold a support order, he or she will be subject to the provisions dictated by § 3703. The court effects payment of any arrearages by entering judgment against a non-paying obligor, authorizing the seizure of goods, attach wages (up to 50%), and add interest to unpaid installments.

If your spouse walked out unexpectedly and you are struggling to maintain your household alone, do not delay in hiring the right family lawyer. Call our office at (215) 942-2100 today to speak with a Bucks County divorce lawyer who can get your case filed and resolved as swiftly as possible. Our experienced family lawyers are trusted by Doylestown area residents to manage their complex matters of support, custody, and divorce.

A Common Regret After Divorce in Pennsylvania

How not hiring a lawyer can lead to regret


Our office knows the extent to which a divorce can exhaust a client, especially when they have sought counsel after being un-represented for much of the proceedings. We also know how satisfied clients feel for having solid guidance during a tough time. Handling divorce in Pennsylvania on your own may leave you wondering what could have been. Those who have been through it will tell you the biggest regret of their divorce was not hiring an attorney early on or at all.

Getting real about choices

Everyone hopes their divorce will not require attorneys at all. They go about separating their lives in a lot of ways, and talking about custody. Soon, the other party hires a lawyer and you are getting stacks of documents in the mail. One thing leads to another and finally the divorce is entered; however, many are left with more questions. Had I retained a lawyer to review all of this, would I have more time with my kids? More support coming in monthly? Less support going out monthly?

Consider the long term expenses

Taking a the passive and cost effective approach could cost big bucks. For example, if you are not represented and paying child support, you may be subject to increases in monthly payments when custody time is limited. Perhaps you wished to have more time with your kids and never had the chance to get the right arrangement? Or, perhaps your children are of an age where they have their own lives and choose not to spend time with you. Having a divorce lawyer to sift through these details, advise and argue your case could mean a dramatically different outcome.


In matters of equitable distribution, simply decoding what is marital and what is non-marital can cause confusion. For divorce in Pennsylvania, it is advisable to have a PA divorce lawyer review your assets and ask you the important questions. When did you acquire the asset? Has it appreciated in value over the duration of the marriage? How much of the marital home is considered marital property where down payments are involved? These are expensive decisions to make on your own - dividing assets in Pennsylvania is done as equitably as possible through the divorce process. Having a lawyer will help determine what that means for you.

Fight for your kids

Support and custody can intertwine, but are separate actions in court. If you have resolved your support matter, but are not seeing your children, you need a lawyer. The best interests of the child are always of primary concern for Pennsylvania courts. It does not serve in anyone's interests to have poorly drafted or non-existent custody arrangements. This is the primary area of regret for many individuals who did not retain a divorce and/or custody lawyer; worse than losing money is losing precious time with your children.


Do not end up kicking yourself down the road. It may hard to face the challenges ahead, but do yourself a favor and allow professionals to do the work. Even if it seems intimidating now, you may one day wonder what could have been. Call our offices to schedule a consultation with a Bucks County divorce lawyer, at (215) 942-2100. Feel free to submit an inquiry form and a member of our team will contact you.

Child Support Deviation based upon Custody | Bucks County

PA Guidelines Allow Child Support Deviation Based on Custody

The calculation helps determine child support or support deviation for Bucks County and all Pennsylvania support cases. The amount child support deviation may increase or decrease depending on the amount of parenting time spent with the child(ren). It may not necessarily rely on overnights either – if a parent spends time and money on the kids during daytime visits but rarely has them overnight, the deviation may account for that.

The support guidelines include calculations for overnights spent with each parent and will manipulate the percentage of income owed by the obligor (non-custodial) parent. The calculation includes a methodology for determining the percentage of time spent with the non-custodial parent. This number affects what is owed to the obligee (custodial) parent, who is paying for all of the day-to-day expenses of the children.

But what if the custody is split almost fifty-fifty? The non-custodial parent is paying for equally as many day-to-day expenses as the custodial parent as well as child support to the custodial parent. The PA child support guidelines provide for downward child support deviation in cases where the obligor parent has more than 40% parenting time. This time does not necessarily have to be overnights, either. If the parent paying child support has 40% of parenting time during the day and pays for trips, entertainment, events, etc., that parent may be able to reduce their support payments.

Rule 1910.16-4(c) of the PA Support Guidelines states, “The obligor will receive an additional 10% reduction in the amount of support owed at 40% parenting time, increasing incrementally to a 20% reduction at 50% parenting time.”

Conversely, there may be a parent who spends little to no time with the children and does not incur any expenses as a result of overnight visits (or, as stated above, day visits). In that instance, the guidelines provide for an upward deviation in the support obligation. This best serves the children in two ways: the deviation may prompt the non-custodial parent to be present in the child’s life; and it lightens the financial burden on the custodial parent.

In Juli’ A. D’Ancona-Maher vs. Jeremy Gerhart, Plaintiff Mother cited the aforementioned guideline and the 2010 commentary which serves as an explanatory supplement to the code. She sought an upward deviation based on the obligor’s lack of parenting time with their 17 year old child. In this particular case, the Court took into consideration the testimony of the relationship between the father and the teen. Ultimately, the deviation was not considered because the child maintained an active social life; hence, it was partially the child’s choice as to the amount of time spent with the father.

While the PA Support Guidelines are intended to provide a rigid, numbers-based theory to determine payments, custody may be a dramatic variable in cases concerning child support for Bucks County residents. Throughout any discussions of support, the best interests of the child are always of primary concern. If you are involved in a custody or support matter, contact our office to speak with an experienced Bucks County custody lawyer. Call (215) 942-2100 to set up a consultation.

Welcome Jahn S. Chesnov, Esquire: 27 Years of Family Law in Bucks County

We are excited and pleased that Jahn S. Chesnov, Esquire has joined our team to continue providing excellent service to the Bucks County community.

Mr. Chesnov will provide insight and advice to support our large portfolio of family law cases. As a seasoned practitioner of Family Law in Bucks County, Mr. Chesnov provides 27 years’ experience and expertise in matters of divorce, custody, support, and more.

As a solo practitioner, Mr. Chesnov ran a successful and well-known practice, helping residents of Bucks County since 1985. While doing so, he lectured to the community regarding divorce, custody and support; particularly for an organization called PWP, Parents without Partners.

To read more about Mr. Chesnov, follow the below link for the full press release:


Waiving Child Support in Pennsylvania

In developing a Marital Settlement Agreement, parties may sling numbers and financial data as a means to an end. After months of analyzing incomes, debts, and appraisals, a couple may find a financial middle ground on how to settle their divorce. Often, individuals consider bargaining payments of child support. Unfortunately, utilizing this exchange of money is not as negotiable as even the most amicable parties might anticipate.

In Reber v. Reiss, 42 A. 3d 1131 (Pa.Super.2012), the Court states:

We recognize that "[i]n Pennsylvania, a parent cannot bind a child or bargain away that child's right to support." Kesler v. Weniger, 744 A.2d 794, 796 (Pa.Super. 2000). Nonetheless, we have also held that "under Roberts [v. Furst, 385 Pa. Super. 530, 561 A.2d 802 (1989)], parties can make an agreement as to child support if it is fair and reasonable, made without fraud or coercion, and does not prejudice the welfare of the children." Kraisinger v. Kraisinger, 928 A.2d 333, 340 (Pa.Super.2007).

It is possible under Roberts v. Furst, 385 Pa.Super. 530, 561 A.2d 802 (1989), that parties are able to make an agreement for child support provided it is fair and reasonable for the children.

However, where those payments are repurposed, the Courts may disagree. In Kraisinger v. Kraisinger Pa. 928 A.2d 333 (2007), the couple drafted an agreement that settled other matters by way of relenting on or reducing future support payments from the obligor spouse. The agreement blurred the line between property settlement and child support.

When the obligee wife wanted to modify support, the Court was forced to address several matters in this case. Of primary interest was whether or not the obligee spouse was able to modify support even though obligor husband met the terms of their MSA. Obligor husband argued that obligee wife did not have standing to file for a modification in support as he had successfully met the terms of their agreement.

The Court had to review the agreement from the perspective of family court and acknowledge the fact that this particular contract was not working in the best interest of the children. Overall, the obligor would have been paying less than the guidelines require. Also, the mother is not able to waive further child support in exchange for payment of an equitable distribution matter.

As such, the Court found this would prejudice a child’s welfare, stating, “. . . a child’s right to adequate support cannot be bargained away by either parent and any release or compromise is invalid.”

Child support can sometimes be viewed as merely another financial obligation. In the context of divorce, it is easy to lose sight of its purpose. The Pennsylvania Support Guidelines are intended solely to protect the best interests and well-being of children and cannot be bargained away by either parent.

Hiring the right attorney is critical to ensure you and your children receive fair financial attention. Call (215) 942-2100 to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney to help you in your support matters.

Choosing a divorce attorney | Tips & Caveats

What to consider before hiring representation for your divorce

As with any other area of law, hiring a lawyer with experience is always important. For this area of law, choosing a divorce attorney that has a heavy volume of his or her practice specifically in family matters is crucial. An attorney who primarily practices family law knows the best approaches and other family lawyers; this will help alleviate negotiations and maintain solid rapport to keep much of the discussion out of the courtroom.

Apart from the “on-paper” specs such as ratings, reviews, and certifications, you should focus on choosing a divorce attorney you feel comfortable talking to. You need to ensure you understand your case and have an attorney who can explain what is going on without the law school lecture. His or her personal style of communication is going to play a large part in determining how opposing counsel and the courts respond to your wishes. If you are a resident of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Bucks County, Montgomery County and/or Philadelphia, Attorney Michael Kuldiner can provide the attention to detail and comfortable communications you need.

In the initial consultation with your attorney, determine how comfortable you are with sharing information. Full disclosure is an absolute must in divorce and custody matters; sharing financial and personal information should be as easy as possible. At the Law Offices of Michael Kuldiner, P.C., an initial, first consultation is free of charge so you can see for yourself what kind of service we can provide. Mr. Kuldiner will review the nature of your file and give you straightforward analysis of what the costs and benefits may be.

Familiarity with division of assets is another quality to bear in mind. Choosing a divorce attorney who speaks to the business component of your marriage is important where complex wealth or investment issues are present. Consider intellectual property, real estate, and other investments; having an attorney with subject matter expertise in these areas will make division of assets a succinct and less costly process. Mr. Kuldiner specializes in real estate and business law and can accurately advise as to property values and fair market values.

The Law Offices of Michael Kuldiner, P.C. is situated conveniently in southeastern Bucks County just outside of Philadelphia and only a short drive from the surrounding suburbs. Call (215) 942-2100 to set up an appointment.

Can an extramarital affair post-separation affect support?

Extramarital Affair and Spousal Support

Many times, couples separate and start new relationships during the pendency of the divorce - which some might consider an extramarital affair. In a recent case decided by Pennsylvania Court, husband appealed from the trial court order that dismissed his exceptions and granted the wife spousal support. A long-recognized exception to the obligation to pay spousal support exists where the recipient spouse conducts him - or herself in a manner that would constitute grounds for a fault-based divorce. The husband argued that he was subjected to indignities based upon the wife’s post-separation extramarital affair, and that the trial court erred by excluding evidence of that affair.

If there is no evidence of conduct that would constitute grounds for a fault based divorce, then a spouse is entitled to support. Because post-separation conduct does not constitute a basis for granting a fault-based divorce, without evidence that it sheds light on the preseparation conduct of the parties, it likewise cannot be a basis for precluding the award of spousal support. The record here did not support a finding that the wife’s post-separation conduct shed light on her conduct prior to separation. S.M.C. v. W.P.C., 44 A.3d 1181 (Pa.Super. 2012).

Divorce Attorney Michael Kuldiner is Now a (CDFS) Certified Divorce Financial Specialist!

Michael Kuldiner  is a Divorce and Family Law attorney and has been instrumental in many successful divorce proceedings, and makes the process less complicated, manageable and less stressful for his clients. He also concentrates his practice on child custody and support, child neglect, domestic violence, alimony and spousal support. When family law matters require court intervention, Mr. Kuldiner is also a skillful litigator. His skills and expertise make him a recognized and respected Lawyer in the legal profession.

Mr. Kuldiner has expended his practice and expertise, and now, as a CDFA Certified Divorce Financial Divorce Specialist, he may continue to deliver quality services with distinction. He has exerted all efforts, attended many trainings and successfully passed the required examinations in order to continue to develop his proficiency in the field of Family law. With his skill, knowledge and specialized training, you can be confident that you have the right lawyer to handle divorce proceedings and a professional financial adviser at the same time.

Moreover, Mr. Kuldiner will see to it that divorcing clients will receive fair and equitable divorce settlements. To decide what is fair and necessary is the work of the expert, and only trained professionals have the capability to make fair divorce settlements. Divorce is simply a beginning of a new life between two individuals. Make a good head start; seek the assistance of Mr. Michael Kuldiner, a Divorce Attorney and certified divorce financial specialist at the same time. It makes a difference to talk to a competent and skilled certified divorce financial specialist.

Most of the time, conflicts will arise in separations where spouses owned one or more business investments, real property holdings and voluminous personal assets. However, as a Certified Divorce Financial Specialist, Michael Kuldiner will help you simplify the proceeding, make it easier for spouses to deal with the distribution of the property and part ways contented with the results. Mr. Kuldiner understands the impact of divorce to personal and family relations, including financial confusion and a seemingly endless battle for how much and what  each party should have.  Mr. Kuldiner will look meticulously into your business and financial plans, tax implications, stock investments, retirement benefits and budget management while acknowledging the real issues at stake.

When you need an attorney to represent you with your legal matter such as Divorce, Custody or any other Family Law matter, contact the Law Offices of Michael Kuldiner, P.C. in order to obtain the best results possible in each case. To arrange a consultation, please give us a call at (215) 942-2100 or contact us by submitting the form at top right.

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