Recently, entertainment headlines have been dominated by Kevin Costner’s wife’s request for $248,000 per month in child support for their three children.  To most people, such a request probably seems outrageous, but most people aren’t married to wealthy movie stars. Kevin Costner’s case represents what family law attorneys refer to as a “high income” child support case.

 In Pennsylvania, child support is primarily based on the parties’ income and the number of children, although the amount may be adjusted or what family law attorneys refer to as “deviated from” upon review of certain factors, such as:

(1) unusual needs and unusual fixed obligations;

(2) a party’s other support obligations;

(3) other household income;

(4) the child’s age;

(5) the parties’ relative assets and liabilities;

(6) medical expenses not covered by insurance;

(7) the parties’ and the child’s standard of living;

(8) in a spousal support or alimony pendente lite case, the duration of the marriage from the date of marriage to the date of final separation; and

(9) other relevant and appropriate factors, including the child’s best interests

In high income cases, such as that of Kevin Costner’s, there are separate child support guidelines which apply if the parties’ combined monthly net income exceeds $30,000.  The courts apply a three-part process, and as part of the third step, the courts conduct a separate analysis of the children’s reasonable needs to determine if an adjustment or deviation is necessary.  To aid the court in determining children’s reasonable needs, parties are required to submit income and expenses statements.

The family law attorneys at PSG can help you calculate potential child support outcomes. To schedule a confidential consultation, contact us at (610) 840-2626.