Liebmann Family Law can help you understand the child support laws in Bucks County PA.
Liebmann Family Law is located Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
CHILD SUPPORT LAWS
Parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their children.
In Pennsylvania, the amount of child support is determined pursuant to statutory support guidelines which are based upon the “Income Shares Model”. The support guidelines set forth the amount of child support that a parent should pay on the basis of both parents’ combined monthly net incomes and the number of children being supported. The primary factors that determine child support are the parties’ respective incomes or earning capacities and the parties’ respective custodial time, which is defined by the number of overnights the children spend with the parties. An order of child support is retroactive to the date of filing and terminates once a child becomes emancipated, which occurs when a child turns eighteen (18) years of age or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. Where a child has special needs or disability, that impact the child’s ability to be self-supportive, the court may order child support to continue beyond the age of eighteen (18) and high school graduation. An order of child support may be modified, with a new child support order entered, if there is a material and substantial change in circumstances, such as an increase or decrease in income.
Pa. R.C.P. 1910.16-2 sets forth the calculation of monthly net income. For purposes of support, the term “income” includes income from any source. Income includes, but is not limited to: wages, salaries, bonuses, fees and commissions; net income from business or dealings in property; interest, rents, royalties, and dividends; pensions and all forms of retirement; income from an interest in an estate or trust; Social Security disability benefits, Social Security retirement benefits, temporary and permanent disability benefits, workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation; alimony, if inclusion is appropriate; and other entitlements to money or lump sum awards, including lottery winnings, income tax refunds, insurance compensation or settlements, and awards and verdicts.
Income does not include: public assistance or Supplemental Security Income. Monthly gross income is usually based upon a six (6) month average of all income received. For purposes of support, net income is calculated by deducting the following from gross income: federal, state, and local income taxes; unemployment compensation taxes and Local Services Taxes; F.I.C.A. payments (Social Security, Medicare, and Self-Employment taxes) and non-voluntary retirement payments; mandatory union dues; and alimony paid to the other party.
Pa. R.C.P. 1910.16-3 sets forth the monthly basic child support schedule that is utilized to determine the basic child support obligation pursuant to the support guidelines. The schedule reflects the amounts spent by parents on children in intact families by the parents’ combined income and the number of children.
Pa. R.C.P. 1910.16-4 sets forth the formula that is utilized to calculate the obligor’s and obligee’s share of the basic child support obligation pursuant to the support guidelines. The obligor is the party paying support. The obligee is the party receiving support. The obligor is entitled to a reduction in his/her basic child support obligation when the children spend forty percent (40%) or more of their time with the obligor.
Pa. R.C.P. 1910.16-5 sets forth the factors that shall be considered by the court in determining whether deviation from the support guidelines is appropriate. The relevant factors include: unusual needs and unusual fixed obligations; other support obligations of the parties; other income in the household; ages of the children; relative assets and liabilities of the parties; medical expenses not covered by insurance; standard of living of the parties and their children; and other relevant and appropriate factors, including the best interests of the children. The trier of fact must state the guideline amount of support as well as the reasons for and findings of fact justifying the deviation in writing or on the record.
Pa. R.C.P. 1910.16-6 sets forth the additional expenses that may be allocated between the parties, in proportion to their respective net incomes, which adjust the basic child support obligation. These additional expenses include reasonable child care expenses; health insurance premiums; unreimbursed medical expenses; private school tuition, summer camp, and extracurricular activities; and mortgage payments.
Pa. R.C.P. 1910.16-7 sets forth the adjustment that may be appropriate in awards of child support when there are multiple families. The obligor may be entitled to a reduction in his/her basic child support obligations when the total of his/her basic child support obligations exceeds fifty percent (50%) of his/her monthly net income.
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