Child Support

Legal Definition of Income

In the child support case of Duren vs. Kageos, PICS Case No. 13-3027, CCP Berks County, PA, the Honorable Mary Ann Ullman reaffirmed that Pennsylvania support law required a parent to report any and all income of any sort to Domestic Relations for child support, that such reporting was “a legal requirement and not a game between [the parties],” and that “if it is discovered in the future that [father] is practicing fraud upon the court, the consequences could be severe”.In this case, Judge Ullman observed that the father did not appear to realize that “the legal definition of income for child support is extremely broad and encompasses practically any and all forms of income including the worth of bartered goods and services”.

Notwithstanding that there were enough inconsistencies in the record to raise suspicions about father’s honesty in reporting his income, the court was required to abide by the support master’s finding that father was a credible witness. The Court further ruled that the mother was required to present a string of convincing factual evidence to support assigning father a higher income. The mother did not meet this burden; therefore, the court was required to accept the master’s report determination that the income reported by the father was credible for child support purposes.

Reference: Digest of Recent Opinions, Pennsylvania Law Weekly (November 12, 2013)

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