Divorce Finances: How Do Arrears Change If You Become the Custodial Parent?

Question:maura boogay attorney pennsylvania

Currently, I am a non-custodial parent with thousands of dollars in arrears.

In August of 2014, I will have physical custody of my son.

After I’ve become the custodial parent, do I still have to pay arrears? Will my ex-wife now have to pay support?


While I am not licensed in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue. Generally, unless waived by the other party, support arrears must be paid in full regardless of what changes in the case as they are considered past support due.

If the other party waives the arrears, they can be forgiven. When you become primary physical custodian, generally the other party has to pay something in child support. This is dependent on the precise schedule, potentially giving some credit to the other parent for any time she has with your son and the parties’ respective incomes.

Depending on the local practice, if there is a support obligation owed by the opposing party, you may be able to work something out where that obligation eats away at your arrears as a way to eliminate that obligation for you.

In other words, you may try seeking an order that says the opposing party’s support obligation can be deemed credited by your arrears amount, but you want to sit down with an attorney in your state to do the precise math and to make sure it’s a fair deal for you. You and your attorney also want to make sure that the court will agree to this.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer Maura Boogaycontact Cordell & Cordell.

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