Family Law FAQs

FAQ: What kind of income is used to determine child support?

The Support Guidelines have a detailed explanation of what might constitute a parent’s income for child support purposes. In addition to salary, income may include things such as bonuses, commissions, interest, rent, lottery winnings, income tax refunds, and many others. Sometimes, the determination of a parent’s income is made more difficult if the parent owns their own business or holds an executive position that may involve such things as stock options or deferred income. In the Collaborative Process, parents and their Collaborative Lawyers commit to fully disclosing, sharing, and cooperatively evaluating all financial information, such as tax returns, account statements, stock option and compensation agreements. This is done in a setting that, unlike the traditional court process, is confidential. The Collaborative Team, which may include a Financial Specialist, works together with you to establish a mutually acceptable child support agreement that meets the needs of your family.

FAQ: My ex- and I haven’t talked together about our children since the court’s custody decision last year. We just text. It’s too hard. Things aren’t working with this schedule. I need to go back to court. I don’t see how Collaborative Practice would work for us.

I can understand how this process doesn’t make sense for you. Consider this . . . Do you wish you and the other parent would talk more? Do you imagine what it might look and feel like to work together as a team with the other parent, as partners in parenting your children? Do you feel a bit hopeless in not knowing how to make this different for you and your children? If you have these or similar thoughts, simply getting a new custody order, if you are successful, will not change your situation. The Collaborative Process will create opportunities, in a confidential setting, for you and the other parent to develop clear understandings of what you need from each other to parent your children together, to explore what gets in the way of meeting those needs, to identify what you want most for children and how you can accomplish these goals in an environment that acknowledges and supports the critical role each of you has in the lives of your children. Already strained relationships between parents can be further eroded in the lengthy and confrontational litigation process. Children for sure suffer.  Choosing the Collaborative Process and working with our Collaborative Team of professionals that include Child Specialists may be just the change you need to make for yourself and your children.

FAQ: Isn’t property division in a divorce always 50/50?

No. If you were to go to court for the property division, the court will apportion the assets and debts based on the thirteen factors in the law. This may or may not result in a 50/50 division. It’s up to the court to make that determination.

By contrast, in a Collaborative Divorce, you and your spouse decide how to divide assets and debts, which may be 50/50 or in some other fashion by applying the 13 factors as you both see fit. Your Collaborative Team will help you understand the overall picture created by your family’s financial situation, evaluate tax implications of a proposed financial division and achieve a desired financial settlement for each of you that considers your shared values.

To schedule a confidential consultation and learn more, contact a professional with Collaborative Law Professionals of Southeastern Pennsylvania.