Will my wife be forced to pay child support if I get custody of out children?

UPDATED: Jun 22, 2011

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Will my wife be forced to pay child support if I get custody of out children?

After some family arguing about neglect, I asked my wife to temporarily leave. My wife moved in with her parents and has since had almost no contact with me or our 2 children 16 and 19). Our older child is a legally disabled bipolar schizophrenic who requires some care. My wife wants to have her own life and shows no signs of reconciliation. It seems divorce will be my next option and I will be seeking full custody. What rights do I have? Will she be forced to pay child support? She has a full-time job which I asked her not to take, or is that optional?

Asked on June 22, 2011 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  I think that the best thing that you should do is to speak with an attorney in your area on a consultation basis.  First I need to let you know that there are many different types of custody and the courts favor joint custody between parents.  Your children are also old enough to testify as to whom they wish to live with and if their reasons are based upon valid reasoning (not she is too strict) then they will be given weight in the determination.  You and your wife have the same rights to your children under the law unless and until a judge says otherwise.  As for child support it is a formula that s used and numbers are plugged in to it to determine the amount.  You need to discuss the continued care of your older daughter and setting up some trust for her and you need to remember college for your younger daughter and support through that.  Good luck. 

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