Divorce involves several complex legal procedures, with child support being one of the most difficult ones to resolve. Child support laws differ from state to state, each following specific guidelines, including Pennsylvania. Understanding these laws can help parents make better decisions as they navigate their family law matters.
Child Support In PA
Child support in Pennsylvania does not just cover the basic needs; it includes the mental, emotional, and physical welfare of the children. The amount paid for child support will be paid until the child’s 18th birthday. The family court can, however, order the payments to continue if the child has a disability. The parent can also fail to pay support for a child that gets emancipated before turning 18 years old.
Who Pays for Child Support?
Usually, the parent that lacks custody in a non-custodial divorce pays for the child support. If one parent has a higher percentage of custody, the court orders the parent with less custody to pay for child support. In a case where custody is equally shared, child support is paid by the parent earning a higher monthly net income. If the parent with less custody has more than 40% of the custody, he or she is eligible for a child support discount on total child support payable.
Child Support Costs in Pennsylvania
Child support in Pennsylvania is determined by the 1910.16-1 to 1910.16-7 Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedures. According to these guidelines, the amount a parent will pay for child support will depend on two main factors, the monthly net income of the parents and the number of children.
The amount a parent will pay for child support will depend on factors such as:
Custody agreement and visitation schedule
Type of school the children attend, e.g. private school
Who pays the child’s health insurance
Whether one parent is receiving alimony
Additional expenses from each party
Calculating Child Support
The total monthly net income of both parents will determine the total amount of child support to be paid. The net income used includes the gross income in which social security, Medicare, federal and state taxes have been subtracted, as well as any additional incomes, such as dividends and rental incomes.
The exact amount paid by each parent will depend on their monthly net income. For example, if the total net income of both parents is $10,000 and the mother earns $4,500 while the father $5,500, the father will have to pay 55% of the total child support amount agreed upon.
The Pennsylvania child support guidelines do not apply to cases with high incomes; specifically, total net incomes amounting to $30,000. It also does not apply to partners with more than one family and in a situation where the net monthly income of the non-custodial parent is less than $870.
Modifying Child Support
A parent can use evidence to rebut the amount of child support that he or she is to pay if they feel the amount is unjust. In such a case, the court does not depend on the child support guidelines for a decision. The following conditions can make the court disregard using the guidelines:
If the parties have other obligations of support.
Insurance does not cover certain medical expenses.
Presence of other household incomes.
The age of the children.
Presence of any fixed obligations of unusual nature.
The social class of the parties and their children.
Presence of relative assets or liabilities.
Any interests that best serve the child.
Speak to a Clarks Summit Child Support Attorney
At O’Malley Law Office, LLC, we provide attorney services to child support cases and make sure you pay a fair amount in child support. If you are receiving or paying child support, and need legal guidance on what your rights as a parent are, do not hesitate to speak to our Clarks Summit child support attorney.
Call us today at (570) 391-0866 for further information on how our services can help you with your child support case.