Navigating life after divorce can be complicated, especially when your kids are involved. Thinking about and trying to calculate child support payments is just one factor that can contribute to these complications.
Figuring out child support can be challenging and unpredictable and the rules used to calculate and enforce these have changed considerably throughout time. Fortunately, there are a few common guidelines you can use to anticipate child support payments and get a general idea of what the amount might be.
Calculation Estimation Basics
Pennsylvania uses the “income shares” model for calculating child support. In this method, the combined income of both parents is the primary determining factor in figuring out the amount of support. That means that your children receive an equal amount of parental income, as if the parents continued to live together and share finances.
However, several other factors that can also influence child support amounts include custodial schedule and the number of children to be covered in the support amount. In general, the courts calculate combined income and then determine child support amounts based on child support guidelines. These guidelines are designed to ensure consistency in child support decisions and provide a basis for which the states can calculate the amounts.
These support amounts are ultimately determined by the state courts, unless the parents come to a prior settlement together. While these rules are general guidelines the courts use, no two situations are exactly alike and there is not necessarily a sure-fire way to determine the exact amount of child support prior to the court judgment.