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Calculating Child Support in PA

Pennsylvania has specific guidelines for child support; however, a deviation may be sought in certain circumstances.

When parents go through a separation or divorce, child custody is typically the number one concern. Both parents are required to collaborate and draft a parenting agreement that organizes the child’s general welfare and takes the child’s best interests into account. Living arrangements must be determined, and rules related to upbringing and long-term decisions should be outlined. One custody issue that always generates conflict is child support.

If you have been ordered by a judge to pay child support, you are likely confused about the details surrounding your payments. The Pittsburgh child support lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC have helped clients deal with this frustrating experience countless times and attorney Anthony Piccirilli can help you calculate an accurate child support payment.

Call (412) 471-5100 now to see how your parental rights can be protected.


What is Child Support?

In Pennsylvania, child support is defined as a monthly payment made by a non-custodial parent used to maintain a child’s existing standard of living. This payment is received by the parent with physical custody (the custodial parent) and is used for the child’s needs. Contrary to popular belief, these payments can be used for any expense related to the child, such as school fees, entertainment, and extracurricular activities. It is a widely held misconception that child support payments can only be used for covering a child’s bare necessities, such as housing and food.

Strangely, the courts do not require the custodial parent to prove how the payments are spent, except when a child’s basic needs are being neglected. The courts see monitoring the spending of child support payments as a privacy violation. Since the custodial parent has taken on the task of attending to the day-to-day needs of the child, it is assumed that the money is being spent responsibly.

Determining Factors

The amount in child support that a non-custodial parent must pay depends on a number of variables. However, when drafting a custody order, a judge will always prioritize the well-being of the child. This tends to result in child support payments going beyond a child’s true financial needs. Factors that are commonly considered when determining a child support payment include, but are not limited to:

  • The number of children that will be affected by the custody order
  • The monthly and yearly income of the parent without physical custody (non-custodial parent)
  • The amount the non-custodial parent currently pays in child support from a past relationship
  • The amount currently paid by the non-custodial parent in health insurance payments
  • The monthly and yearly income of the parent with physical custody (custodial parent)
  • The amount currently paid by the custodial parent in health insurance payments
  • The monthly and annual cost of daycare paid by the custodial parent

Contact Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC

If you are the non-custodial parent, it can sometimes feel as though you’re being taken advantage of and being treated unfairly. You certainly want to maintain your child’s standard of living, but you do not want to be extorted. Learning that you will be unable to monitor how the payments are spent can be even more off-putting.

The Pittsburgh custody lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC know that going through a divorce is very frustrating and stressful. At the very least, you should be able to expect that you are not being treated unfairly. Attorney Anthony Piccirilli will work tirelessly to ensure that your child’s best interests are the number one consideration when calculating child support.

Call (412) 471-5100 today to find out how you can play a role in shaping your child support payments.