Preparing for a Support Conference
Whether you are filing to receive child or spousal support, or you may be required to pay support, you will need to present information and evidence regarding your income and expenses at a support conference. The following are the types of documents that are typically required, regardless of the type of support that is being requested:
- Tax documents: Tax documents filed in the previous year will almost always be required (including but not limited to tax returns or transcripts, W2s, and 1099s), unless you were not required to file taxes;
- Proof of income: Proof of income for the past six months, including paystubs, Social Security statements, income and expense statements, or other verification of employment, is also required if you are employed or otherwise earning income;
- Proof of an inability or a limited ability to earn income: If you are not earning an income, it is important to provide information and/or documentation regarding why you are not able to, or have a limited ability to, earn an income. Such verification could include, but is not limited to, documentation regarding a medical condition, or evidence that you are caring for a very young child and/or that you would not be able to afford daycare costs for your child; and
- Proof of health insurance: If you carry health insurance for yourself, your children, and/or your spouse, you should be prepared to provide copies of your insurance cards and/or other verification of the insurance that you hold (such as a copy of your policy documents).
Some documents are only needed in specific circumstances. Note that all of the documents referred to below may be applicable to either party, regardless of whether they are receiving or paying support. These include:
- Mortgage statements: In spousal support or APL cases, you may be eligible to receive a “mortgage deviation,” which is a credit for the mortgage, taxes and insurance that you pay on the marital residence. If you believe that this is or may be applicable to you, you should provide mortgage statements at your conference;
- Childcare expenses: In child support cases, you may be eligible to receive a credit for childcare expenses that you have paid for the child(ren) and/or have the expenses allocated between the parties. You should bring your child’s daycare bills, or evidence that you are paying a private third party for babysitting, to your conference;
- Unreimbursed medical expenses: If you have accrued unreimbursed medical expenses for yourself or your minor child(ren) after the application for support was filed but prior to the conference, you should bring copies of the bills and any evidence that you paid them to your conference; and
- Extracurricular expenses: If you are involved in a child support case and you pay for, or are planning to pay for, extracurricular activities for your children, you should bring evidence of such payments to your conference.
The lists above are not exhaustive of every required or optional document that may be presented in a support action, but they are examples of some of the most common documents. If you are interested in learning more about support proceedings, contact Tanner Law Offices at (717) 731-8114 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.