Child’s Needs Relevant to Support Orders for High-Income Parents

Young boy and girl at school lunch table smiling to camera

Figuring out child support payments where high-income parents are involved now requires more than a calculation based on each parent’s income.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that the children’s reasonable needs have to be considered. Otherwise, support orders that are wildly out of proportion can result.

The recent ruling came in a case where one parent’s annual income had increased enormously and the other parent sought greater child support based on the increase. The couple had agreed to recalculate the child support every year based on their incomes and Pennsylvania law.

Pennsylvania’s so-called high-income child support guidelines, adopted in 2010, apply when a couple’s combined net income tops $30,000 a year. But the Supreme Court ruling means that in cases with parents whose incomes far exceed that, the courts may conduct a separate analysis of the reasonable needs of the children.

McMonagle, Perri, McHugh, Mischak and Davis is knowledgeable in Pennsylvania divorce law and experienced in matters of support and custody. For more information, call us at 215-981-0999 or email us at