Child support is primarily determined by a formula known as the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines. The income of each parent is put into this formula. Based on the total income and the number of children, the formula will provide an overall figure for basic child support. Each parent’s obligation will be a percentage of that number, based on the spouses’ relative incomes. The guidelines only apply when the total monthly net income for both parties is $20,000 or less.
If your total monthly income is greater than $20,000, a high-end child support process applies. In high-end support cases, to determine a child support order, the dependent party must prove his or her actual and reasonable monthly needs.
Living expenses are not considered in calculating a guidelines support obligation, unless one has what is considered an “extraordinary expense.” Also, child care, summer camp, and medical expenses are in addition to the monthly child support amount.
Child support is always modifiable if there is a change of circumstances which would warrant either an increase or a decrease.