2008 Support Update


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  • 2008 Support Update

    1. 1. Support Law Update 2008 Brian C. Vertz, Esq., MBA, AVA Pollock Begg Komar Glasser LLC BVsource.com
    2. 2. Support Law Update 2008 <ul><li>Case Law Update </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation 91 Proposed Changes – Support Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Processing a PACSES Order </li></ul>
    3. 3. Celebrity Divorce Update <ul><li>Guy Richie vs. Madonna </li></ul>
    4. 4. Conroy v. Rosenwald 940 A.2d 409 (Pa.Super.2007) <ul><li>No “poisonous tree” </li></ul>
    5. 5. Conroy v. Rosenwald Jennifer Conroy Michael Guinan (live-in boyfriend)_ Glen Rosenwald (boss) child
    6. 6. Conroy v. Rosenwald <ul><li>Remand: hearing on estoppel defense </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reinstated support order prospectively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Denied retroactivity prior to paternity test </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Superior Court affirmed </li></ul>
    7. 7. Ferguson v. McKiernan 940 A.2d. 1236 (Pa.2007) <ul><li>Parents May Not Waive Child Support.... ?! </li></ul>
    8. 8. Ferguson v. McTiernan <ul><li>Mother conceived child with Sperm Donor (her former boyfriend) by IVF procedure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assured boyfriend that his role would be kept confidential </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agreed to waive child support in exchange for donor’s waiver of custody rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Told clinic that donor was her husband </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Ferguson v. McTiernan <ul><li>Mother sued donor for child support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Donor’s defense: contractual waiver </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trial court granted child support </li></ul><ul><li>Superior Court affirmed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot bargain away a child’s right to support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Supreme Court vacated and remanded </li></ul>
    10. 10. Ferguson v. McTiernan <ul><li>Supreme Court upheld the contract, including Mother’s waiver of support </li></ul><ul><li>Supreme Court distinguished anonymous clinical donations from sexual conceptions in a relationship or one-time encounter </li></ul><ul><li>Exception to the rule that a parent cannot bargain away a child’s right to support </li></ul>
    11. 11. Celebrity Divorce Update <ul><li>Christie Brinkley v. Peter Cook </li></ul>
    12. 12. J.F. v. D.B. , 941 A.2d 718 (Pa.Super. 2008) <ul><li>The Brady Bunch: 2008 </li></ul>
    13. 13. J.F. v. D.B. Father Triplet 1 Surrogate Father’s Girlfriend Surrogate’s Husband Egg Donor Triplet 2 Triplet 3
    14. 14. Kotzbauer v. Kotzbauer , 937 A.2d 487 (Pa.Super. 2007) <ul><li>aka “The Deer Hunter” </li></ul>
    15. 15. Kotzbauer v. Kotzbauer <ul><li>Epileptic: seizure disorder, migraines, memory loss </li></ul><ul><li>Full time student, part time job </li></ul><ul><li>Driving, deer hunting, dancing </li></ul><ul><li>No medical testimony </li></ul>
    16. 16. Sirio v. Sirio 2008 Pa.Super.133 (2008) <ul><li>What are “reasonable needs”? </li></ul>
    17. 17. Sirio v. Sirio <ul><li>Equally shared physical custody </li></ul><ul><li>Combined income of $20,538/month </li></ul><ul><li>Mother had no left-over income </li></ul><ul><li>Father ordered to pay 100% of children’s reasonable needs in Mother’s care </li></ul><ul><li>Held: historical expenditures are not necessarily reasonable needs </li></ul>
    18. 18. Krebs v. Krebs , 944 A.2d 487 (Pa.Super. 2008) <ul><li>Retroactive Modification of Child Support </li></ul>
    19. 19. Krebs v. Krebs <ul><li>2001: Father’s income increased </li></ul><ul><li>2004: Mother eligible for 3 year review </li></ul><ul><li>Trial court granted modification retroactive to 2004 but not 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Superior Court: Mother entitled to receive modification back to 2001 </li></ul>
    20. 20. Faust v. Walker , 945 A.2d 212 (Pa.Super. 2008) <ul><li>Personal Injury proceeds </li></ul>
    21. 21. Faust v. Walker <ul><li>(a) General rule.-- Overdue support shall be a lien by operation of law against the net proceeds of any monetary award, as defined in subsection (i) .... </li></ul><ul><li>(i) Definitions.-- </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Net proceeds.&quot; Moneys in excess of $5,000 payable to a prevailing party or beneficiary . . . after payment of attorney fees, witness fees, court costs, reasonable litigation expenses, documented unpaid expenses incurred for medical treatment causally related to the claim .... </li></ul>
    22. 22. Celebrity Divorce Update <ul><li>Governor Sarah Palin </li></ul>
    23. 23. Wieland v. Wieland , 2008 Pa.Super. 98 (Pa.Super. 2008) Mother Child Husband Putative Father/ Intervenor
    24. 24. Style v. Shaub, 2008 WL 3272049 (Pa.Super. 2008) <ul><li>Liability for Support of Disabled Adult Child </li></ul>
    25. 25. Colonna v. Colonna, No. 609 WDA 2007 (January 3, 2008) <ul><li>Child Support for Noncustodial Parent </li></ul>
    26. 26. Colonna v. Colonna <ul><li>On remand, trial court awarded support to Mother </li></ul><ul><li>One-half of the difference between her monthly housing expense and 25% of her net monthly income </li></ul><ul><li>Superior Court vacated and remanded </li></ul><ul><li>Mother did not meet her burden of proof </li></ul><ul><li>Mother, not Father, had superior housing </li></ul>
    27. 27. Colonna v. Colonna <ul><li>Father argued that 75%-25% disparity in incomes did not mandate support order </li></ul><ul><li>Superior Court: “significant disparity” does not require a deviation from guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Father argued that the deviation for housing expense should end when Mother moved out; Superior Court agreed </li></ul>
    28. 28. Recommendation 91 <ul><li>Eliminate Melzer in high-income cases </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminate Mascaro (high-income APL) </li></ul><ul><li>Overrule Isralsky (mortgage subsidy) </li></ul>
    29. 29. Recommendation 91 <ul><li>Eliminate Melzer in high-income child support cases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extend guidelines chart up to $30,000/month </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extrapolate above $30,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example : $2,756 + 5.6% of net income exceeding $30,000 per month for one child </li></ul></ul>
    30. 30. Recommendation 91 <ul><li>Eliminate Mascaro in high-income APL and spousal support cases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs-based (11 factors, like alimony) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not less than formula if combined incomes were $30,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not greater than 30% of income differential with dependent children or 40% without </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. Recommendation 91 <ul><li>Overrule Isralsky </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No mortgage subsidy after the final resolution of the claims in divorce </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Isralsky granted mortgage subsidy as part of child support where custodial parent remained in the marital residence after divorce </li></ul></ul>
    32. 32. Recommendation 91 <ul><li>Involuntary reduction of income – no reduction of support unless willful </li></ul><ul><li>No earning capacity greater than one full time job </li></ul><ul><li>No shared custody adjustment, split or divided custody offset, or APL/CS offset in high-income cases </li></ul>
    33. 33.  2008 Brian C. Vertz bvsource.com [email_address]