Divorcing parents have an equal responsibility to support their children financially. Pennsylvania courts use established guidelines to determine the amount of support for parents in this situation.
Review the factors that affect child support for families in the state.
Typically, the parent who spends more time with the children receives support from the parent who has fewer overnights with the children each month. The judge will review the family’s child custody agreement to set or modify support.
The structure of the family also influences the amount of child support. The court considers the number of children the parents have together. The judge will also consider whether either parent has custody of or pays support for children from other relationships.
The Pennsylvania child support guidelines provide a recommendation based on each parent’s income and the estimated monthly cost of support based on the number of children. The judge can deviate from these guidelines based on factors such as each parent’s debts and assets, exceptional needs of the child, and the family’s standard of living.
In Pennsylvania, the parent who can obtain medical coverage at a reasonable cost (typically defined as 5% of monthly income) is usually required to carry the insurance. When parents share custody, the judge may also require them to split the cost of health insurance.
As with child custody, Pennsylvania courts prioritize the best interest of the child when making child support decisions. Child support ends when the child turns 18 except in cases where the court orders extended support because of disability or during college.