The Pennsylvania Child Support Calculator currently computes child support payments based on the California child support formula and offers an estimation of a possible child support award in the State of Pennsylvania.
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In Pennsylvania, The factors affect the amount of child support payment
These factors are:
- The schedule for physical custody
- How many children are included in the support order
- The parties’ recurring monthly after-tax earnings and
- The parties may have to pay some additional costs for the child’s care (ren).
Child support is typically paid by the parent who has shared custody of the kids to the parent who has main custody of them. Whoever spends the most overnights with the child(ren) in a year is awarded primary custody.
The parent with primary custody is the one who spends more than half of the nights with the child. Notably, if a parent has more than 40% of the overnights with the child(ren), he or she is eligible to a reduction in the amount of child support required.
In Pennsylvania, child support is payable to the parent with the lower income by the parent with the higher income in the event of a 50/50 custody arrangement.
The next stage is to ascertain the parents’ monthly net incomes after deciding which party would be responsible for paying child support based on the custodial schedule that has been established (i.e. after-tax incomes).
Income from all sources, including wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, interest, rental income, etc., is included in net income. Any spousal support, alimony pendente lite, or alimony received is also included in net income.
Taxes, spousal support/alimony pendente lite/alimony given to the beneficiary of the child support, and obligatory deductions like union dues are the only items that can be deducted from the parties’ monthly gross incomes.
To calculate a party’s monthly net income, additional typical voluntary deductions from their salary or paycheck, such as 401(k) payments, are brought back in.
Other factors, such shared custody, may also have an impact on the amount of child support required by Pennsylvania law. In families with several children, split custody refers to the situation when each parent has sole custody of one or more of the kids.
Pennsylvania child support is calculated in a few steps after the monthly net incomes of the parties have been established.
First, ascertain the parents’ combined monthly net income. The percentage of each parent’s contribution to the combined monthly income can be calculated by taking that number and dividing it by the combined monthly income.
Following the calculation of those percentages, consult Pennsylvania’s Basic Child Support Obligation Guidelines to calculate the appropriate Basic Child Support Obligation based on the number of children covered by the order.
The next step is to calculate the preliminary monthly basic child support obligation by multiplying the Basic Child Support Obligation by the obligor’s percentage of the combined net monthly income.
For instance, if the mother (obligee) and father (obligor) both have monthly net incomes of $3,000 and $5,000, respectively, their combined monthly net income is $8,000 ($5,000 + $3,000 = $8,000).
Divide each parent’s individual net income by both parents’ combined net income to get the share of each parent’s income that goes toward the joint monthly income. For the mother ($3,000/$8,000=42%) and father ($5,000/$8,000=58%).
According to the Pennsylvania Basic Child Support Obligation Guidelines, the Basic Child Support Obligation for this couple in our example would be $1,795 if they have two children.
Multiply the Basic Child Support Obligation ($1,795) by the obligor’s share of the joint income to get the amount of child support the obligor parent must pay the obligee parent.
In our example, the father is the obligor, so the Basic Child Support Obligation ($1,795 x.58 = $1,041.10) is multiplied by the father’s share of the combined income.
The father owes the mother $1,041.10 in basic child support each month if the mother has primary physical custody and the father spends less than 40% of the overnights with the kids (in which case there is no discount due).
Finally, based on a few additional expenses for the children, adjustments are made to the recipient’s monthly basic child support.
These expenses, which are often split according to the parties’ percentages of the combined monthly income, include items like payments for the children’s health insurance premiums, work-related childcare costs, and private school tuition.
Minor costs like clothing, school supplies, sports registration fees, etc. are not taken into account because it is assumed that the monthly minimum child support requirement will pay them.
The parties’ respective portions of the total monthly net incomes are divided amongst these additional costs.
For instance, if the mother in the aforementioned scenario had $800.00 in monthly daycare costs for the covered children that she needed in order to work and the father did not, the mother’s monthly basic child support requirement would rise by $464 per month.
To get to that sum, multiply the childcare expenses for the mother ($800.00) by the father’s proportionate share of the parties’ joint monthly net income (58%) ($800 x.58 = $464).
In other words, father owes mother 58% of her childcare expenses in addition to the required minimum. However, in actual use, the sum would be somewhat lower because the court would account for any tax benefits the mother would receive from deducting child care costs.
Correspondingly, if father had an expense for the children, such as healthcare costs, mother would owe him 42% of those costs. The expense would then be deducted from his responsibility to pay child support.
You should be aware that Pennsylvania’s method for calculating alimony changed in 2019, which has an impact on the calculation of child support.
According to the revised calculations, child support cannot even be taken into account until alimony (if any) is established.
The parent with the greater net income is always the one who pays alimony to the parent with the lower net income. In contrast, child support is always granted to the parent who spends more time with the children than 50% of the time during any given year, or, in the case of a 50/50 custody agreement, the parent with the lower income.
If a mother has primary custody but a lower net income, she will receive alimony as well as child support. Although the father will be paying her child support, if the mother has primary custody and a greater net income, she will be paying the father alimony.
An offset results from the circumstance. For instance, if the father owes $750 in child support and the mother is due $450 a month in alimony, he will eventually have to make a $300 monthly payment to the mother. ($750 – $450 = $300).
If the parents share custody equally, the parent with the higher net income is responsible for paying child support in Pennsylvania and, in some circumstances, alimony.
For instance, if the mother and father split custody 50/50 and the father has a greater monthly alimony obligation of $450, the father will be responsible for both child support and alimony payments.
It goes without saying that determining child support in Pennsylvania is not always simple. People facing child support proceedings would be wise to speak with an accomplished divorce lawyer in Pennsylvania.
Over the course of a child support order, even slight differences in the monthly payments can have a big impact. The lawyers at Cooley & Handy are skilled and experienced in all aspects of child support, and they can give you wise advice about your support order.