Can the Court Deviate from the Child Support Guidelines?

The court may deviate from the support guidelines when determining a child support obligation, but is required to state why in writing or on the record, the amount and the reasons for and findings of fact justifying the amount of deviation. Deviation doesn’t always mean lower.

The court should consider the following when deciding whether to deviate from the guideline amounts:

  1. unusual needs and unusual fixed obligations;

  2. other support obligations of the parties;

  3. other income in the household;

  4. ages of the children;

  5. the relative assets and liabilities of the parties;

  6. medical expenses not covered by insurance;

  7. standard of living of the parties and their children;

  8. other relative and appropriate factors, including the best interests of the child.

See PA Rule 1910.16-5.