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Pennsylvania Adoption Attorney McKean County, Tioga County, Potter County, Cameron County 

A Quick Look at Child Support Calculations from a Pennsylvania Attorney

In 2010, Pennsylvania’s child support guidelines were revised.  The goal of the child support guidelines is to provide an equitable way to assess the amount of support that each child should receive from the non-custodial parent.  Pennsylvania takes into account a variety of factors and provides for adjustments based on amount of time spent with the child.  These adjustments are meant to reflect the realities of the intersection between custody and economics  - in the case of substantial periods of time, the guidelines recognize that if a party has the child(ren) there are associated expenses (clothing, food, activities, entertainment, sports).

Calculating Support

Here is the link for the official Pennsylvania Automated Child Support Enforcement (PACSE) child support calculator.  Support Estimator  In general, the child support guidelines work this way:  Take the net income of mother and father and add them together.  Take this amount and go to the child support table, which will yield a figure based upon income and number of children.  The amount from the table is the presumptive child support amount.  Multiple the presumptive child support amount by the percentage of income contributed by the non-custodial parent and this yields the child support he or she is obligated to pay.  Adjustments are then made based upon time with the children if the non-custodial parent has the child for 40% or more of the overnights with the child(ren).  Further adjustments are applied for insurance coverage provided.

But is it fair?

The goal of the guidelines is to provide a uniform, objective measure for child support.  In practice, however, it yields far from perfect results.  By gearing reductions based on overnights with the child, the guidelines ignore custody arrangements under which one parent has the child the majority of the time but the child resides with the other parent for overnights.  Consequently, it also breeds litigation over who gets to keep the child overnight and therefore takes away from the real focus of custody (and support) providing for the best interests of the child.

Another area where child support calculations fail is when one parent is intentionally or unintentionally unemployed.  Because the presumptive child support amount is multiplied by the percentage of income attributable to the non-custodial parent, if the custodial parent is not working the non-custodial parent may have to pay 100% of the presumptive amount rather than a percentage of this amount.  This result often occurs where the custodial parent is receiving certain government benefits, which the child support calculations do not take this income into account.  When this happens, not only is the custodial parent receiving income but the domestic relations office does not count the income so the non-custodial parent pays 100% of the presumptive child support amount with no set off for the income the custodial parent is actually receiving.  

Despite these areas where the guidelines provide an inequitable result, the guidelines by and large provide a useful framework for setting a fair support amount.  Perhaps in the future the guidelines will be revised again the take into account some of these bizarre scenarios.  



We handle a wide range of family law matters including:

  • Child Support
  • Custody
  • Divorce
  • Stepparent adoptions

  • Grandparent adoptions

  • Domestic agency adoptions

  • Private adoptions

  • Surrogate contracts

Contact Our Experienced Pennsylvania Family Law Attorneys Today

(814)-274-8612

From offices in Coudersport, Potter County, Pennsylvania, the attorneys at Ross and Ross, LLC serve the personal injury, bankruptcy, social security disability, divorce and family law needs of Western, Northwestern, Central and North Central Pennsylvania including the communities of Coudersport, Galeton, Shinglehouse, West Branch, Smethport, Port Allegany, Bradford, Roulette, and Wellsboro, as well as Potter County, McKean County, Tioga County, Cameron County, Bradford County and other areas of Western PA and Central PA.


***Legal Disclaimer: The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.  No lawyer-client relationship exists until one of our attorneys meets with you and agrees to accept you as a client.

Child Custody

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Our firm is dedicated to helping people. We want to help you find a workable solution that will protect your children and provide a stable future for them. At Ross & Ross, each child matters.

 

 

From offices in Coudersport, Potter County, Pennsylvania, Ross and Ross, LLC serves the personal injury, bankruptcy, social security disability, divorce and family law needs of Western, Northwestern, Central and North Central Pennsylvania including the communities of Coudersport, Galeton, Shinglehouse, West Branch, Smethport, Port Allegany, Bradford, Roulette and Wellsboro, as well as Potter County, McKean County, Tioga County, Bradford County and other areas of Western PA and Central PA.

 

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Ross & Ross Law Office
One East Third Street
Coudersport, PA 16915
Phone: (814)274-8612
Email: TheRossLawFirm@gmail.com

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