Child support in Pennsylvania is based on statewide guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The guidelines are intended to ensure that similarly situated parties are treated similarly. Accordingly, all parties making $3000 per month with 3 kids would pay the same amount of support based on the guideline amounts. The guidelines are based on an “Income Shares Model.” Accordingly, the guideline amount will be based on the combined net monthly income of both parties.
For purposes of support, net income only allows deductions from gross income for taxes, F.I.C.A. payments (i.e. Social Security), non-voluntary retirement payments, mandatory union dues and alimony paid to the other party. Gross income includes all wages, salaries, bonuses, fees, commissions, income from business or property, pension and/or other retirement, income from an estate or trust, Social Security disability or retirement benefits, temporary and permanent disability payments, workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation, alimony payments, and all other entitlements to money or lump sum awards.
The guideline amount looks at the combined monthly net income for both parents and the number of children. The child support award is then determined based on any applicable custody schedule and the proportion of income comprising the guideline amount. Additional expenses can be added in such as health insurance costs, child care costs, summer camp, private school tuition and unreimbursed medical expenses. These expenses will also be split between the parties in proportion to their income.