Under Pennsylvania law, the amount of spousal support owed is fixed by statute. A higher-earning spouse is required to pay the lesser-earning spouse a monthly payment equal to 40 percent of the difference between their wages if there are no children, or 30 percent of the difference between their wages minus child support payments. While it is possible to determine the amount of spousal support payments by reading the statute and performing the calculations by hand, using an online calculator is easier and reduces the likelihood of errors.
Using an Online Calculator
Access the Pennsylvania Online Support Calculator. While no Pennsylvania state agency has developed an online calculator for determining spousal support, private attorneys have developed a tool for calculating spousal support.
Input identifying information. Provide the name of the paying and receiving parent and how many children under the age of 18 they have. Indicate their marital status.
Input financial information about you and your spouse. For both the paying and receiving parent, indicate how their pay period is calculated, their gross income per pay period and amount of deductions.
Input information about any marital children. Indicate whether any marital child receives benefits, such as Social Security, death, retirement or disability derivative benefits. Indicate the amount of nights per year that the children stay with the paying parent, how much the paying and receiving parent contributes toward child care expenses and health insurance. Indicate any support payments the paying spouse owes to spouses or children who are not part of the child support action.
Click “Calculate!” The online calculator will automatically determine how much monthly spousal support the higher-earning spouse must pay to the lesser-earning spouse. This amount will be displayed on line 23.
Calculating by Hand
Calculate the difference in net monthly income. Net monthly income is the amount of salary received per month, minus any deductions for tax. Determine the net monthly income for both spouses, then subtract the net monthly income of the receiving spouse from that of the paying spouse.
Subtract any allowable expenses from the difference in net monthly income. Pennsylvania law allows a paying spouse to deduct allowable expenses from the difference in net monthly income, including support payments to other spouses and child support payments. After subtracting these allowable expenses, you will have a preliminary total for monthly spousal support.
Multiply the preliminary total by the correct statutory percentage. If there are no children to the marriage, multiply the preliminary total by 40 percent. If there are children to the marriage, multiply the preliminary total by 30 percent. This will yield the amount of monthly spousal support payments owed by the higher-earning spouse to the lesser-earning spouse.