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What Are Pennsylvania’s Guidelines for Child Support?

How much you pay in child support ultimately depends on the Pennsylvania child support guidelines. By working with a knowledgeable attorney you can find out how the law applies to your divorce.

The PA Code on Support Guidelines base support payments mainly on two factors — both parents' net monthly income and the number of children being supported. Courts consider whether you have children you also support from a previous marriage. If you do, you subtract that support amount from your net monthly income before performing the child support calculations for the children being placed in the child support case.

When both parents earn income, they must both contribute to supporting their children. When one parent makes more income than the other parent, that parent's percentage of child support is greater. For example, if the father makes $4,000 a month and the mother makes $2,000 a month, the father's percentage of the monthly net income is 66 percent and therefore the amount the father owes will be 66 percent of the total amount, and the mother's amount is 33 percent.

Other factors may also enter into determining child support, including overnights spent with the parent who pays the other parent child support. When overnights are 40 percent or more, this factor reduces the amount of child support owed.

The law requires parents to pay child support until the child is 18 years old or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later.  Unless parents agree as part of a settlement, parents do not have to pay expenses for their child to go to college. Child support may last longer when a child is disabled.

A family law firm can answer your questions. You can rely on an experienced divorce lawyer for compassionate and effective legal guidance to help with child support and all other aspects of your divorce.

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