Calculating Child Support in an Amicable Divorce

In Pennsylvania, there is an exact calculation used to determine child support amounts. This is good news for those going through a mutual and amicable divorce. The law takes the burden off the separating couple to determine a fair amount, which often leads to fights that could have been avoided and lets couples focus on the bigger pressure points in divorce. The non-custodial parent, or the parent who makes more money if custody is equally shared, is the one obliged to pay.

In this agreement, parents will also share medical expenses, camp costs, private school tuition, and childcare in a way that is proportionate to each income.

Calculation of Child Support

Child support is calculated using a strict formula specifically designed to create a number that is fair to both parties while giving the proper finances for the child to have a quality lifestyle. The state has an exact guideline to determine how much support is appropriate for each size of family and income.

Income is one of the biggest factors in determining child support amounts. To determine how much is appropriate, the net monthly pay of each parent, or “take home” check, is taken into account. This amount is calculated by taking more than salary into account. Bonuses, commissions, second jobs and other forms of income are weighed out when determining who should receive support and in which amount. Those who are self-employed are more difficult in this process as their “take home” does not account for taxes to be later paid.

Other Payments to Support Children

The monthly payment that most consider to be child support is merely an overhead payment. Other expenses, such as health insurance premiums, child care, or other expenses such as tuition or school-related expenses, should be split between the two parents in addition to the child support payments.

How Guidelines are Used to Determine Support Payments

After the net income has been determined for each parent, the appropriate amount of support is determined by the number of children in the family based on parental net income. As an example, if both parents earn $2,500 a month, the combined net income is $5,000. At this point, they would consult the Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines’ chart. If the chart says they should put $1,500 toward the child each month, the noncustodial parent would be obligated to pay half of that amount to the other parent. In this example, that amount would be $750 each month.

If you are facing a divorce, contact our team today. We will ensure your interests are considered in all child support and custody proceedings.