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Child Support with Split Custody

When the obligor (the parent who pays child support) has partial physical custody of  child and the child spends less than 40% of overnights with the obligor, the obligor will pay the full amount of child support according to the guidelines as set forth in Pa.R.C.P. 1910.16-1—1910.16-7.   When the child spends more than 40% of overnights but less than 50% of overnights with the obligor, the obligor’s support obligation is reduced by between 10% and 20%, depending on the total percentage of overnights with the paying parent.

When parents have equal amounts of physical custody of the child, with each parent spending 50% of the overnights every year with the child, the higher earning parent will still pay child support, but his or her child support will be reduced by 20%.  When the parties have joint physical custody, however, and the child support calculation would result in the lower earning parent receiving more income per month after receiving the child support, than the higher earning parent would receive after paying the child support, then the child support amount paid to the lower earning parent will be reduced to provide equal income to the parties after child support is paid to the receiving parent.

A more complicated situation arises when one parent has primary physical custody of one of the parties’ children and the other parent has primary physical custody of another one of the parties’ children (both parents have primary physical custody of one of their children).  This would result in each parent owing child support to the other parent.  In these situations, the parent who owes more in support will have the support obligation reduced by the amount of support that is owed to him or her from the other parent.  The paying parent will only pay the net difference of these competing obligations to the other parent.

While child support and custody matters are handled separately and in different factions of the Court, their impacts often determine the outcome of the other proceeding.  It is important to ensure that the correct calculations are used.  The attorneys at Tanner Law Offices can assist you in making these determinations.  Please contact our office at 717-836-0471 to schedule a consultation.