Many clients ask the question of what is actually considered income for Pennsylvania child support. Generally, income is based upon at least a six month average of all of an individual’s income. This includes income from every source, including:
- Wages, salaries, bonuses, fees and commissions;
- Net income from business or dealings in property;
- Interest, rents, royalties, and dividends;
- Pensions and all forms of retirement
- Income from an interest in an estate or trust;
- Social Security disability, Social Security retirement, temporary and permanent disability, workers compensation, and unemployment compensation;
- Alimony (if appropriate);
- Entitlement to money or lump sum awards such as lottery winnings, insurance compensation or settlements, and awards/verdicts; and
- Public Assistance and SSI benefits.
Essentially it captures any source of income that you would receive from any source. Even social security and public assistance funds are included. If you earn it or receive it, it is income.
One myth you may frequently here is that by quitting a job, one can get out of paying child support. That is a myth. It is important to note that an individual can’t get out of a support obligations just by quitting employment. If a person mistakenly believes that myth, he/she will be held to their prior earning capacity and a support award will be entered based upon those prior earnings. So don’t quit your job!
The amount of child support paid by an individual depends on the Pennsylvania child support guidelines. The guidelines are based primarily on the number of children who need support and the income of both parents. Within those parameters, however, there may be some flexibility to account for the child’s reasonable needs, the paying parent’s ability to provide support, and for particular custody arrangements.
If you are going through or about to go through a painful divorce and potential custody matter, don’t go it alone. The stakes are too high. You can Count on Mooney. We have over 100 years of combined experience in Pennsylvania family law practice. We have general practice attorneys who are specific to each county. We offer day time appointment and convenient evening hours throughout the week. Call today to schedule an appointment with a Mooney Law family attorney. Call 833-MOONEYLAW or 717-200-HELP.