Chester County, Pennsylvania is home to over 500,000 residents. Overseeing all legal matters in the county is the Chester County Court of Common Pleas. The court has several divisions, but of particular importance is the division of Domestic Relations, where all matters of Family Law are settled. When a family has any issues regarding the creation of a spousal or child support agreement, or a modification of a standing agreement, it will be handled in this division. Chester County will follow a common support filing process for both support and custody orders.
Support Orders In Chester County
When a marriage dissolves or a custody order is completed, it is common for spouses or parents to ask for spousal or child support. Both of these can be filed with the county. Chester County's court prefers to keep all related cases together, so if a family is filing for divorce, all related support orders will be filed simultaneously. This includes both child and spousal support. Filings can be done Pro Se (without an attorney) or under an attorney's representation. It is strongly recommended to retain the services of an attorney throughout support proceedings because the opposing party may contest the claims, which can lead to a lengthy legal battle.
Spousal & Child Support
Child and Spousal support follow roughly the same procedures. In order to begin, a filing must be prepared for whatever type of support order is desired. In a filing, whoever is requesting support will be known as the "plaintiff" and the subject of the filing who will be paying the support will be known as the "defendant." After this, a filing fee must be paid to the court, then the process will begin. Many support conferences are resolved at the level of a court Master. A Master can be likened to a judge; Masters are court-appointed, seasoned attorneys who are designated to handle conferences outside of the courtroom. Masters have the power to make decisions that affect matters of support. Both parties are required to attend their support conferences. The court will make accommodations for persons who do not wish to appear in front of the opposing party. In Chester County, the primary factor for determining support obligations will be a person's income, however, the court will also take other requirements of the state into consideration. For child support cases, additional factors such as special needs for the child will also be included. A majority of the time, if a divorce proceeding is taking place, then the filings for spousal and child support will accompany the divorce. However, in certain cases, a person's life circumstances change and necessitate a new order being prepared.
Chester County, Pennsylvania Support Attorney
If you or a loved one is involved in a child support or spousal support case in Chester County, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.