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How Is Child Support Calculated in Pennsylvania?

Father supporting his daughter at home

Pennsylvania has child support guidelines based on the “income shares” model used in 38 states. This model, which considers the incomes of both parents, was developed under the Child Support Guidelines Project funded by the U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement and administered by the National Center for State Courts.  It is encoded in Rule 1910.16 of the Pa. Rules of Civil Procedure. The guidelines provide a formula for calculating basic child support based on numerous factors:

  • Number of children
  • Net monthly income of noncustodial parent
  • Amount of monthly support or alimony the noncustodial parent pays to a spouse from a prior relationship
  • Monthly cost of family group health insurance the noncustodial parent pays
  • Net monthly income of the custodial parent
  • Amount of monthly child support the custodial parent pays for children from a prior marriage
  • Monthly cost of family group health insurance the custodial parent pays
  • Monthly cost of daycare the custodial parent pays

High-income parties whose combined net income exceeds $30,000 per month are subject to a specific formula found in Rule 1910.16-3.1. The guidelines also allow additional expenses of childrearing to be added to the basic obligation on a case-by-case basis.  These include:

  • Work-related childcare expenses
  • A child’s health insurance premiums
  • A child’s unreimbursed medical expenses
  • Private school tuition
  • Summer camp

Because the goal of child support is to maintain children at a standard of living they would have enjoyed but for the divorce, the court can approve expenses that are common for children from similar backgrounds.

The Law Offices of Jennifer Courtney & Associates, P.C. handles all aspects of child support including initial litigation, modifications, and enforcement actions. We serve clients throughout Bucks County, including Newtown, Washington Crossing, and Richboro. Call us at 215.493.3360 or contact our Yardley office online to schedule a consultation.

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