Pennsylvania, like many states, relies on the income-sharing model to calculate child support; this means that the combined income of both parents is the determining factor for the amount of support. Add up each parent's total from Step 1 to get the combined monthly net income. If you and the other parent share custody equally, you have the same number of overnight stays in a given year, in which case the person with the highest income will pay child support to the person with the lowest income. The attorneys at Cooley & Handy are experienced and knowledgeable in all the nuances of child support, and can provide you with solid guidance regarding your support order.
The first thing is that child support is always paid to the parent who has primary custody of the children. A parent may be able to change the amount of child support when they experience a change in their living situation. However, a party challenging a child support obligation can provide evidence to refute the alleged amount of child support. In a Bucks County child support matter, the family law judge will assume that the amount under the guidelines is the correct amount of support to be awarded.
Parents who were not married at the time of their child's birth can establish paternity by signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity together or by opening a paternity case through a request for child support. To start with, I want to go over a few things to keep in mind early on when thinking about how child support is calculated in Pennsylvania. After calculating the monthly net income, the next step is to calculate each parent's share of the monthly amount of child support, also known as their basic support obligation. While these factors may support an adjustment above or below the payment amount, there are other expenses that affect support payments.
Contributions to retirement accounts, such as an IRA, are considered income for the purpose of determining a parent's income and child support obligation. Once a court orders that an amount of child support be paid, the paying parent (called the debtor) must continue to make those payments until the order ends or a court modifies it. The result was that Pennsylvania amended the law on how alimony and child support were calculated in Pennsylvania. These additional expenses will be above the basic child support number, the parties will divide them in proportion to their relative income.
A family law court may deviate from child support guidelines when the specific circumstances of the matter show that the amount under the Guidelines is unfair or inappropriate. Parents going through a separation or divorce often want to know how to pay or receive child support.