When a Pennsylvania couple decides to split up after having a child together, it is likely that the noncustodial parent will be required to pay child support. These payments, which assist the custodial parent with the costs of raising the child, may normally be made by the noncustodial parent until the child turns 18.
The amount of child support a noncustodial parent may be ordered to pay is calculated using the state child support guidelines. These guidelines takes a number of factors into consideration, including the parent's income, the child's specific medical needs and other costs. The custodial parent's monthly income is also taken into consideration, as it is expected that the parents contribute an equal percentage of income towards the cost of raising the child.
There are also several other factors that go into determining the amount of child support payments the noncustodial parent may be ordered to pay. For example, where the children are living and if they may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits are also taken into consideration. Pennsylvania courts automatically review the child support order every four years to determine if the circumstances have changed. If, for example, there was a change in the monthly income of one of the parents, the order may be changed to reflect this.
When an ex-couple cannot come to an agreement regarding child custody and child support, it may be left to the court to determine what is in the best interest of the child. In order to avoid having the court make a decision that none of the parties may be happy with, a family law attorney may potentially help a client negotiate an agreement covering these matters.
Source: The Pennsylvania Code, "Rule 1910.16-1. Amount of Support. Support Guidelines.", December 17, 2014