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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102601
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I have a Petition to Modify Support that i filed however was

Customer Question

I have a Petition to Modify Support that i filed however was unable to attend the hearing so my ex's Attorney filed one. We are scheduled to have the hearing on August 4th. Unfortunately i will be out of town and have provided my attorney with documentation. My attorney is requesting my W-2 along with pay stubs. i asked him to reschedule the hearing so i can explain in person my compensation. When they first calculated my support they included bonus and added $300 a month as additional income because at the time i had a company vehical.

My question : Can i reschedule this hearing? I would like to attend so i can explain that i no longer have a company vehical and my bonus structure has changed. Should they include my bonus?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.
Hello,

Welcome to JustAnswer and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other clients or taking a break.

Yes, you may reschedule the hearing, but if you are represented by an attorney, the attorney should do so. Either way, the way to 'reschedule' it is to file a Motion for Continuance and set it for a hearing before the original date in your case, and not on it. The Court has wide leeway in granting continuances for good reason, and yours may qualify if you will be out of town for a good reason and/or have already made significant expenditures for the travel. Family emergencies, business emergencies, and medical emergencies are the norm, although in the end, it depends on the Judge. Many courts grant one 'freebie' as an unwritten rule, although this is not guaranteed.

Yes, your bonus will still be included in the calculation. If the bonus for next year and after that is uncertain in existence and/or amount, an average expectancy will be used.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

My bonus flucuate from year to year. My base salary is $75. In 2009 i earned $129,000 last year i earned $110,000. What about car allowance. Will they consider that salary?

Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.
See here for definition of income in PA:

http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/231/chapter1910/s1910.16-2.html

(1) wages, salaries, bonuses, fees and commissions;
(2) net income from business or dealings in property;
(3) interest, rents, royalties, and dividends;
(4) pensions and all forms of retirement;
(5) income from an interest in an estate or trust;
(6) Social Security disability benefits, Social Security retirement benefits, temporary and permanent disability benefits, workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation;
(7) alimony if, in the discretion of the trier of fact, inclusion of part or all of it is appropriate; and
(8) other entitlements to money or lump sum awards, without regard to source, including lottery winnings, income tax refunds, insurance compensation or settlements; awards and verdicts; and any form of payment due to and collectible by an individual regardless of source.

So while it is not necessarily defined, it can be included - the Court would have discretion to do so.

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you until you actually press ACCEPT. If you still need to clarify something or seek more information, just use the REPLY button and I’d be more than happy to follow up to your satisfaction! There is no fee for follow up questions before or after accepting, should you wish to continue in the thread, and I encourage you to do so should you desire clarification.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What about car allowance? Will that be considered income? yes or no?
Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.
Apologies, I was merely trying to show that it was subjective. But, I would say that generally yes - it would be included.

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you until you actually press ACCEPT, even if you already have a subscription. If you still need to clarify something or seek more information, just use the REPLY button and I’d be more than happy to follow up to your satisfaction! There is no fee for follow up questions before or after accepting, should you wish to continue in the thread, and I encourage you to do so should you desire clarification.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

ok thank you. For the record i'm not trying to avaoid paying more support. My Ex continues to deny my request for more time with my daughter and it dragging everything through the courts.

 

i am currectly paying $1,100 for 1 child and know other people that dont pay that much for three. When we first went to court to determine support i paid the rears off at the hearing $3,000.

 

any suggestions on what i should do to keep the support amount the same?

 

thank you

Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.
I am currectly paying $1,100 for 1 child and know other people that dont pay that much for three. When we first went to court to determine support i paid the rears off at the hearing $3,000.

any suggestions on what i should do to keep the support amount the same?

Each case is difference, since people's incomes can be subjectively calculated, as I showed above.

My best advice to have you pay less - make less on paper. This means asking the company to not to pay you any bonuses, end of year extras, etc. until the end of the year (or after the court date). In other words, the less you make on paper, the less you make from what the Court can have child support calculated from.

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you until you actually press ACCEPT, even if you already have a subscription. If you still need to clarify something or seek more information, just use the REPLY button and I’d be more than happy to follow up to your satisfaction! There is no fee for follow up questions before or after accepting, should you wish to continue in the thread, and I encourage you to do so should you desire clarification.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Please confirm if they do increase my support payment that i dont have to agree with it and can request to attend a Master's Hearing.

Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.
What kind of hearing (or what name) is it that you have scheduled?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Petition to Modify Support

Expert:  Ely replied 6 years ago.
Hello,

It is my understanding that your first hearing will be a Master's Hearing. If not, then yes, you may appeal to it.