Unless in cases of parental rights termination, parents must contribute financially to the upkeep of their children. However, raising children can be expensive, which makes the process of determining child support payments, during divorces, very important.
During this process, conflicts generally arise among parents as to what the child support payment should cover and what it shouldn’t. Does a non-custodial parent pay child support and pay separately for healthcare costs or extracurricular activities? Is the custodial parent allowed to use the payment for vacations or mortgage?
Thankfully, judges and child support lawyers Norristown PA, help to resolve such issues. However, this article will help you understand what child support payments cover and what it doesn’t.
What Is and Isn’t Covered in Pennsylvania
Child support payments should cover all child expenses that are reasonable and necessary for the child’s upbringing. While there’s no specific list of these reasonable expenses, they could be food, clothing, educational expenses, and others.
However, the law clearly states what isn’t covered. They include daycare, medical care, summer camp, private tuition, and mortgage payments.
Parents may consider placing their child in daycare as necessary in maintaining employment, to make income. However, this cost isn’t deductible from child support, but the responsibility of both obligor (person paying support) and obligee (person receiving support). They are to pay a proportion of their combined net income for this purpose.
Both parents share unreimbursed medical expenses, which are recurring or predictable annually over $250. When establishing the support order, the court adds the obligor’s portion into the child support payment. For unpredictable expenses in excesses of $250, the obligor will pay his share to the obligee or the health care provider.
For personal homes, each parent is responsible for their mortgage. Also, for marital or joint-owned residences, the child support guidelines assume that the occupying parent is solely responsible for its mortgage payments. However, if the obligee is the resident, and the mortgage exceeds 25% of his net income, the obligor will pay 50% of the excess.
Private Tuition and Summer Camp
Child support payments don’t account for private school tuition, summer camp, or other similar expenses. If the court determines that these needs are reasonable, the judge will allocate the costs to both parents.
Exceptions to the Law
While certain expenses are not part of the child support payment, the court’s judgment can differ, depending on the case. Some judges will consider the standard of living of the children before the divorce, and decide what the payment should cover. Having good child support lawyers in Norristown, PA, can also help in explaining your family’s unique scenario to a judge.
For instance, some families have a history of attending private schools and extracurricular activities. The judge may determine that these activities are in the child’s best interest, and add their expenses to the child support payment.
Pennsylvania custody law explains the expenses that child support payments cover and what it doesn’t. If you require additional information about your child support coverage, it’s best to speak with experienced child support lawyers in Norristown, PA.