Alimony & Spousal Support

Wife’s Petition For Retroactive Support Arrears Granted Due To Husband’s Failure To Report Increased Income

In the family law, spousal support arrears case of Elliot vs. Elliot, the Pennsylvania Superior Court stated while modification of a support order was typically dated to the date when the modification petition was filed, retroactive arrears could be awarded based on the misrepresentation of another party. The court further noted that the trial court declined to award arrears based on the parties’ current financial situation and because husband neither intentionally misrepresented his increased income nor intentionally decreased the performance of his business to avoid payment. The court ruled that there was no requirement in the support order notice nor in statutory duty to report that a party must intentionally misrepresent income to be subject to arrears. The court held that husband was required to report the change of income for 2013 and 2014, and because he failed to do so the Pennsylvania Superior Court had a compelling reason to order retroactive support. Accordingly, the court reversed the trial courts’ order and remanded for the trial court to determine when the husband first failed to report his increase income and make arrears retroactive to that date.

Reference: Elliot vs. Elliot, PICS Case No. 16-1355 (Pa. Super. November 1, 2016), Digest of Recent Opinions, Pennsylvania Law Weekly, 39 PLW 1088 (November 15, 2016)

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