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Judge rules child support not an obligation during deployment

Making sure a child has everything he or she needs is utmost in most parents’ minds. Many Pennsylvania custodial parents count on child support from an ex each month in order to assist in meeting the needs of the child. It is hard to choose sides in the dilemma each parent in a recent child support situation is facing.

The father is being deployed for seven months to an overseas location. Although it is not yet known exactly what his pay will be during that time, his income will decrease significantly. He will receive military pay but nothing from his job as a firefighter, on which his current support payments are based. In fact, his income recently changed and he and his ex were to come to a new support and visitation agreement because of the modification. A judge has made her ruling to suspend child support during the deployment, citing the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that gives some security in certain situations to active duty service members while they are overseas, and a court date on the modification has been set upon his return.

His ex is claiming that, while she understands he will not be bringing home his regular paycheck, the cost of raising children does not decrease in accordance. She contends she still needs help paying for the things their two young children require and does not understand why the judge suspended payment instead of reducing the payments while the father is deployed. She is afraid she will have to take out a loan to cover costs until he returns to resume his full-time job.

Many child support scenarios are not cut and dried, much like this one. There are often extenuating circumstances that compel a judge to rule in a particular manner in a support case. For a parent to ensure his or her voice is heard in court, an attorney who is familiar with the laws of Pennsylvania should be retained for representation.


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