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How is child support calculated in Pennsylvania?

There are many important issues divorcing couples have to sort out during a divorce and child support is one of them. Understanding how child support is determined can help divorcing couples with their child support concerns during their divorce.

Children have the right to financial support from their parents. Child support is a court-ordered payment intended for the costs of rearing a child. Expenses that are included in child support include monetary support for food, clothing and shelter; health insurance; basic education expenses and may also include childcare expenses; extraordinary medical expenses; extracurricular activities; and visitation travel costs. Child support can be determined in different ways, including if the divorcing couple reaches a child support agreement that is approved by the family law court.

In general, child support is determined based on child support guidelines. Child support is based on the reasonable needs of the child and the reasonable ability of the parent to pay child support. Factors that are considered when calculating child support include the income of both parents; childcare expenses; the cost of medical insurance and any Social Security disability benefits the child may receive; and the living arrangements of the child. Child support is reviewed by the family law court every 4 years.

It is helpful for parents going through a divorce to be familiar with how child support is calculated. It is also valuable for them to be familiar with the family law resources available to help with establishing child support, modifying child support and other child support and divorce-related concerns.

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