Does Pennsylvania Child Support Cover Childcare Costs for Working Custodial Parents?
In Pennsylvania, as in all states, parents must provide child support until their children are at least 18 years old, with few exceptions. The amount of money the support payer provides to the custodial parent depends on the state’s child support guidelines as they are applied to each case.
These guidelines primarily take into account the number of children who require financial support and the income levels of both parents. However, the courts have some flexibility when it comes to accommodating a child’s reasonable needs and the paying parent’s ability to actually cover the support payments.
In general, Pennsylvania courts presume the numbers listed in the fee schedule are appropriate for most situations. Judges are given some leeway to deviate from the fee schedule for any of the following reasons:
- There are unusual needs or fixed obligations in the case.
- There are other support obligations.
- There is additional household income.
- The child’s age presents specific additional needs.
- The child has medical expenses not covered by insurance.
- The receiving spouse and children will be able to maintain a certain standard of living.
- It is in the best interests of the child to deviate from the fee schedule.
These are factors that will influence an up or down adjustment from the standardized payment amount. However, there are other types of expenses that will affect support payments. With regard to childcare, both parents remain responsible for those costs.
Thus, if childcare is required for the custodial parent to work, then the supporting parent will be responsible for paying a portion of those childcare expenses under Pennsylvania law.
If you have additional questions about what is or is not included in child support payments and the factors affecting the amount of those payments, contact a knowledgeable Bucks County divorce lawyer at The Law Offices of Jennifer Courtney & Associates, P.C.