Family Law FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Family Law

By Amy R. Stern, Esquire

If my spouse cheats on me, will I get more assets in the divorce?

No. Fault is not a factor in the division of assets in Pennsylvania divorce cases. However, it may affect an award of alimony.

If I quit my job, will I still have to pay child support?

Yes. Child support is based on income and earning capacity. Voluntarily reducing your income will not ordinarily change your earning capacity.

Am I entitled to know where my support money is going?

No. A parent receiving child support does not have to account for how it is spent.

Is my 401-K contribution included in my income for support purposes?

Yes. All income from any source is considered income for support purposes, including bonuses and overtime.

Does my spouse have to pay for the children’s college education?

No. There is no legal obligation in Pennsylvania to pay for a child’s college education unless it is agreed to pursuant to a contractual obligation.

Will the assets in a divorce be equally divided?

Not necessarily. Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state. Assets are divided based on different factors the court looks at to determine what is fair in a particular situation.

At what age can children decide with which parent they want to live?

There is no set age. A judge may speak with the children and decide how much weight to give their preference.

Can I move with my children out of state if the other parent won’t agree?

You need to file a petition for relocation in Pennsylvania and the Court then considers certain factors in deciding whether you can move with the children.

Is my spouse entitled to part of my pension in the divorce?

He or she may be. A pension accrued by one spouse during the marriage is a marital asset to which both parties may be entitled to a portion thereof.