Do You Have to Pay Child Support if You Have 50/50 Custody in PA?

Schwartz, Fox & Saltzman, LLC. – Philadelphia Divorce Lawyers

In Pennsylvania, a 50/50 custody arrangement does not remove the need to pay child support. Typically, the higher-earning parent still makes child support payments to the lesser-earning parent even when they have a shared custody arrangement.

Learn the circumstances under which a parent must pay child support owed even if they share physical custody with the other parent from the Philadelphia child support lawyers at Schwartz, Fox & Saltzman, LLC.

Our family law attorneys have over 40 years of combined experience solving parents’ problems regarding child custody and child support. Let us help you get the support and child custody arrangement that is best for your family. Call us today.

50/50 Custody & Child Support

If you and the parent of your child have a 50/50 custody agreement , you have “shared” or “equal” custody. In this situation, if you are the higher-earning parent, you are still required to pay a reduced amount of your child support payment. 

How is Child Support Calculated in PA?

In Pennsylvania, the court considers each parents’ relative income when calculating child support. The basic calculation begins with adding the parents’ incomes together, consulting the Pennsylvania Child Support Chart for that amount of income and the number of children involved, calculating the total income of the two parents and arriving at a support figure for that child. The non-custodial parent pays their percentage of the total income of the two parents, of that support figure. In addition, some expenses, such as health insurance paid by a parent on behalf of a child, are considered too.

For example, if the total support amount for a child is $1,000 per month and the parent obligated to pay support has 60% of the income between the two parents, the paying parent pays the other parent $600 per month.

Keep in mind that if the combined monthly income of the parents exceeds $30,000 per month, the Pennsylvania Child Support Chart does not apply. Instead, there is a different calculation made for child support in high income support cases.

How Does Alimony Affect Child Support in PA?

Before completing the basic child support calculation, modify each parents’ incomes by any ordered alimony or spousal support. In other words, deduct spousal support from the income of the support obligor and added to the income of the obligee.

The Support Obligor Will Pay More for Additional Children

The Pennsylvania Child Support Guidelines sets forth the amount of child support to be paid, according to the parents’ combined income and the number of children subject to the child support order, up to six children provided for in the Guidelines. Obligors with more children will consequently pay more in child support than people pay who have less children.

The Support Obligor Will Pay Less if the Obligor Has More than 40% Custody

Here’s where the support obligor who has forty percent or more custody or significant overnights with the children will get a reduction in child support. The court will take into consideration the fact that the child or children spend a significant amount of overnights with the support obligor, who is supporting them during that time. The court will reduce the amount of the child support obligation accordingly.

The Children’s Extraordinary Expenses Are Paid in Addition to the Basic Child Support 

The court can order additional expenses beyond those covered by basic support to be paid in addition to the basic support amount. Examples of this type of expenses include summer camp, child care or daycare for young children so a parent can work, tutoring, private grade school or high school and other expenses not covered by basic support that are deemed necessary by the court or are expenses the parents agreed to pay for their children.

For these one-time or unusual expenses that are not included in basic child support, the court may order the support obligor to pay his or her proportional share of these expenses. For example, if the parents’ combined monthly income is $10,000 and the support obligor makes $6,500 of that, the obligor will pay 65% of the expense and the obligee, 35%.

Does 50/50 Custody Reduce Child Support?

The higher-earning parent always pays child support for equal custody. However, the higher-income spouse will receive a roughly 30% reduction of their child support obligation. Additionally, if the higher-earning spouse’s income is “substantially similar” to the lower-earning spouse, the court may decline to order the higher-earning spouse to pay child support.

How is Child Custody Determined?

A court determines child custody or the parents can agree to this. Specifically, courts decide custody determinations based on the child’s best interest. According to section §5328 of the Divorce Code, courts apply 16 factors to decide legal and physical custody.

What is the Purpose of Child Support?

The goal of child support is to provide for the financial needs of raising a child or children by their parents. One parent usually makes regular child support payments to the other to support the child’s basic needs, and other childcare expenses such as private school tuition, summer camp and other expenses. Basic child support covers childcare costs such as food, housing, clothes, regular expenses, and the costs of extracurricular activities. All parents are subject to a child support calculation whether they were married, were never married, never had a relationship, or are same-sex parents.

Call Schwartz, Fox & Saltzman, LLC for Help with Child Support Issues in PA

Every family is unique. What makes the Pennsylvania child support lawyers at Schwartz, Fox & Saltzman, LLC successful is their proven ability to assess a family’s needs, make sure the court is aware of all factors present that should increase or reduce child support, and give the court the opportunity to consider those facts and give those factors the weight they deserve so that the support calculation is fair and complies with the law.

If you have an issue with the amount of child support you are paying or receiving, call us. Let us help you get the child support arrangement your family needs.

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