/Family-Law-Divorce/Child-Support/Oftentimes when people get separated or are going through a divorce, they like to consult their
friends and family who have gone through a similar situation for advice and what to expect. While it is a good idea to seek support from friends and family who can understand and relate to your situation, sometimes, it can be misleading as to what to expect. Every state has different rules on what factors they consider in determining support and how long and under what circumstances you will get support. The court might consider all the time your sister’s ex has custody of his child when determining how much the support number will be for child support but in Pennsylvania they really only care if it reaches at least 40% of the time. Unfortunately, this is why parents oftentimes will seek a custody order that gives the other parent just shy of this percentage since it means more money for them.
Also, you may have a neighbor who has one child and you find out how much your neighbor gets in child support and expect your amount will be the same. Child support, however, is based on household income, meaning, if your neighbor and her ex make more than you make and your ex combined, she is going to have a higher support order than you do most likely. Support is based on guidelines in PA which are based on household incomes. The parent who has custody of the child or children is the one who is entitled to support. If that parent earns more than the parent without custody, their support order will be lower than they would pay if they did not have custody. It is in proportion to the household income. There are also other factors that get considered such as child care, cost of health insurance, and extraordinary expenses that also get factored into support and can drastically affect the number.
While it is great to go to your friend or family for support and maybe even learn about where to file, how long you might have to wait and other issues, when it comes to figuring out the amount you can expect in support, it is best to consult a professional and also to consult the guidelines.