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Media Divorce Lawyers ~Serving Delaware County, PA~
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Do Courts Ever Deviate From The Child Support Formula?


If you are divorcing your spouse and have minor children with them, there is a very good chance that one of you will have to pay child support to the other. Family law judges will make decisions regarding the amount of support to be paid according to the child support formula used in Pennsylvania. However, there are instances when judges will deviate from the formula and issue a child support order for a different amount. Below, our Media child support lawyer outlines how the courts calculate support, and the reasons why a judge may deviate from the formula.

How is Child Support Calculated in Pennsylvania? 

Child support in the Keystone State is income-based. This means the main factor the courts will consider when making a decision is the income of each parent. First, the income of each parent is calculated. The monthly incomes of both parents are then combined to calculate the parents’ combined income. Each parent’s monthly income is then divided by the combined income to determine how much each party contributes to the combined income.

Once the parents’ combined income has been calculated, a judge will then consider the child support guidelines. These guidelines indicate the amount of support to be paid according to the income of the parents and how many children there are to support. The corresponding amount of support is then multiplied by the percentage of combined monthly income of the payer. This then becomes the amount of the child support obligation.

Can Judges Deviate from the Child Support Formula? 

When making decisions on child support, judges have a great deal of discretion. Judges can deviate from the formula when the paying parent has unique financial needs, or when the costs of caring for the child increase. State law in Pennsylvania also outlines certain situations in which a judge can deviate from the formula. These are as follows:

  • When the payer has distinctive needs, such as an atypical financial obligation,
  • When the payer has other child support obligations,
  • When the recipient’s household has additional income that can be used to cover the expenses of the child,
  • When a child is of a certain age,
  • The assets, as well as the liabilities, of the payer and recipient of child support,
  • Healthcare expenses that are not covered by insurance,
  • The standard of living for the spouses and the children during the marriage, and
  • Any other pertinent factor, particularly if something affects the best interests of the child.

Although judges can deviate from the child support formula, they are often reluctant to. If you think a deviation is necessary, you must prove your case using strong evidence.

Call Our Child Support Lawyer in Media Today 

If you have a child support dispute, it is important to speak to a Media child support lawyer. At Barbara Flum Stein & Associates, our experienced attorney can advise on your case, determine whether a deviation is necessary, and help you obtain the best possible outcome. Call us today at 610-565-6100 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.




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