Divorce presents a major shift in every aspect of life. When a couple who has children decides to separate, it only adds another wrinkle.

Children, especially younger ones, are like a sponge. They fully internalize what they see. Each decision you make, how your act, react and what you say around your children will shape how they act and react. If you talk bad about their other parent (your future ex) around them, one of two things is bound to happen. Either the child will develop similar feelings about their other parent, or they will come to resent you for talking ill about their mom or dad. Neither situation is a positive outcome. 

If you dislike your ex, that’s fine, but you must find a healthy way to express yourself away from your children’s ears.

Acting amicable toward your ex is something you may have to work out, which is okay. This is done during and after the divorce process when considering the terms of property division, child custody, alimony and the focus of this blog, child support in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania child support guidelines

In Pennsylvania, the income shares model expects each parent to support their child financially. Under this model, both parents pay child support. If one parent wins primary custody, the state assumes their monthly portion is paid by paying the rent or mortgage, buying groceries, children’s clothes, and other essentials. The calculations are as follows and are determined by a rule to ensure the child can continue the standard of living they grew accustomed to before the divorce.

  1. Determine the cost per month to raise a child in your select jurisdiction: It costs roughly $1,000 per month to raise a child in Lancaster County.
  2. Determine the percentages of income each parent attributed to the household’s yearly income: Parent A brought in 60% of the total income, and parent B brought in the remaining 40%.
  3. If this were the case, and the cost per month to raise a child is $1000, Parent A would be responsible for 60% or $600, and Parent B would be responsible for making up the remaining 40% with a $400 per month payment.

The parent that pays the other would be agreed upon when deciding child custody arrangements. Also, If the parent’s incomes are higher, the support payments would increase to support the child’s accustomed living standards.