Blue Bell Divorce and Child Support Lawyers
Family Law in Blue Bell
Wander down Skippack Pike and you’ll notice that Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, is rich in Revolutionary war history. From Prophecy Creek to Boehm’s Church with its graves of fallen soldiers, many landmarks point to the past. That is not to say that industry doesn’t rule today - Unisys, Aetna, and UniTek Global Services are a just a few of the major companies making their humble home in Blue Bell.
Is that why Blue Bell is taking over all of Whitpain Township? From a humble census-designated-population of an estimated 5,900 people in "Blue Bell proper" to Whitpain’s entire 18,000, all these people can be said to be Blue Bell residents. Of those residents, a healthy 63% are married, and only 6% are currently divorced.
Where Are Blue Bell Divorces Processed?
Divorces in Blue Bell, and all of Whitpain Township, are handled through Montgomery County. The Prothonotory’s office is responsible for all divorce filings and records, child custody applications, name changes, and Protection from Abuse Orders (PFAs). However, child support arrangements are handled through the Office of Domestic Relations.
That means the Montgomery County District Justice on 653 W. Skippack Pike is NOT where you’ll be filing your divorce complaint. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that local? You need to travel 20 minutes to Montgomery County’s Court of Common Pleas in Norristown, where you’ll file the Pennsylvania-standard divorce forms in person at the Prothonotory’s office along with a filing fee.
Why Might You Need a Divorce?
Divorce is rarely a couple’s first choice when things go bad. Attempting to save a marriage through counseling, or "sticking it out for the kids" usually comes first. Here are a few of the many reasons why a marriage might end in divorce:
- Married for the wrong reasons
- Financial disagreement
- Communication problems
- Unrealistic expectations
- Lack of intimacy
- Unwillingness to change or compromise
Needless to say, any type of controlling, abusive, or violent behavior should NOT be allowed to continue in a marriage. If you need a Protection from Abuse Order, go in person to the Protection from Abuse Department on the first floor of the Montgomery County Courthouse. You can reach the Department at (610) 278-1191 or the Domestic Violence Hotline after hours at (800) 773-2424.
How Does Montgomery County Determine Child Support?
Montgomery County’s Office of Domestic Relations, which handles child support, goes by the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines, which "determine the amount of support which a spouse or parent should pay based on the parties’ combined monthly net incomes as defined in Pa.R.C.P. No. 1910.16-2 and the number of persons being supported."
Beyond that, Montgomery County will specifically look at:
- Monthly net income (average gross amount, including deductions)
- Fluctuating income (taking into account normal changes in certain jobs/earnings)
- Earning capacity (even if a person quits/is fired, he’s considered to have income equal to his earning potential)
- Retroactive effect (accounting for the time period the support complaint was started)
- Deviation (adjustments depending on circumstances, like age of children, etc.)
- Mortgage payment (credit is given if non-resident parent provides for the family home payments)
- Child care expenses (reasonable child care is an expense divided between parents)
- Private school expenses (only allowable if child has special needs/expectations, shared between parents)
- Direct contribution of non-custodial parent (when non-custodial parent pays for child’s expenses directly when visiting, that doesn’t affect the child support order unless it’s a large amount)
- Medical support (both parents generally provide payment)
- College expenses for adult children (recently ruled unconstitutional; only allowed in limited circumstances)
- Effect on T.A.N.F. recipient (if custodial parent is receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, must file for support from non-custodial parent and turn over money to Department of Public Welfare)
Once a support complaint has been filed, both parents will receive notice that they must attend a conference. At the conference, each parent must bring the previous year’s income tax returns, payroll stubs for past six months, medical insurance cards, insurance policy information, any self-employment business records, and a filled-out income and expense statement given to him or her by the court.
Divorce Resources for Blue Bell
Montgomery County Courthouse
Court of Common Pleas
2 E. Airy St,
Norristown, PA 19404
Support Groups and Divorce Therapists
School and Day Care
Blue Bell Divorce and Custody Attorney Sheryl R. Rentz
Blue Bell is a town rich in history. No less a personage than George Washington stayed at Dawesfield in 1777, postmarking his letters "Skippack Road, 15th milestone." George Washington never needed a divorce from Martha, but Washington was the father of our country and set a hard standard for any person to live up to.
Sometimes, divorce can help a family start to heal. Doing what’s best for both parents and children is hard, but if divorce is best, the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., can help. No two divorce cases are alike, and we handle complex matters involving alimony, annulment, bankruptcy, child custody and support, mediation, asset division, and more. Call (610) 645-0100 for a free sit-down with a Blue Bell family law attorney.